Deborah Dubenofsky to take over as VP: finance and operations

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This summer, Wilfrid Laurier University appointed Deborah Dubenofsky as the new VP: finance and operations, taking over for former vice-president of finance and administration, Jim Butler, who served in this role for 14 years.

In November 2015, Laurier president, Max Blouw, hired Dubenofsky as the executive director and senior project lead for Laurier’s bid for a Milton campus.

Dubenofsky provided support to the leadership team to explore Laurier’s opportunities under the Ontario government’s Major Capacity Expansion Policy Framework.

The Framework defines criteria for where new or expanded university or college campuses should be located in Ontario.

Currently, Dubenofsky is planning to continue leading the bid for a Milton campus.

“The Milton project came with me to this portfolio and it’s an example of the kind of external partnerships and relationships with the provincial government and with municipal governments that we want to be able to do and to advance so that the university continues to be able to prosper to have great relationships with other levels of government,” she said.

During her professional career, Dubenofsky has worked in public service and public-policy advocacy.

She has held senior executive roles in both municipal and provincial government, as well as in the private sector. This is her first opportunity in the post-secondary education sector.

“It’s challenging, there’s so many opportunities, lots of places where I can use my skills learned in other places to bring a new sense of engagement,” said Dubenofsky.

While she just began as the VP: finance and operations, Dubenofsky said the role features a lot of information, especially with the changes that are  currently happening at the provincial government level.

“Whether it’s tuition funding, funding formula changes, the upcoming strategic mandate agreement negotiation, there’s an awful lot, including the transition to the Responsibility Centre Management budget model, that really makes this a very, very exciting time for Laurier.”

Dubenofsky is also a member of Laurier’s executive leadership team. As VP: finance and operations, Dubenofsky will be providing support to the Laurier Board of Governors, as well as to Senate and to other various committees.

“[I am] also sitting as a member of the president senior leadership team, providing advice on the broad range of services in the finance and administration portfolio,” said Dubenofsky.

Dubenofsky only joined the Laurier community last year, however she is looking forward to what she can offer to the university.

“I’m really looking forward to this challenge and I’m really looking forward to continue providing a contribution where I can.”

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