Laurier appoints new vice-president of academics

Laurier has appointed a new provost and vice-president: academic to succeed Maureen Mancuso who has served as the interim replacement since August of 2019.

Anthony Vannelli, the current provost and vice-president: academic at the University of Saskatchewan, will join Laurier effective Aug. 1, 2020 after serving in his current position since 2017.

Mansuco, who Vannelli will be succeeding, held the position for 11 years at the University of Guelph before joining the team at Laurier.

“Dr. Vannelli is ideally suited to be Laurier’s next provost and vice-president: academic.  He has been a faculty member, departmental chair, a dean and a provost at three excellent institutions [UWaterloo, UGuelph and USaskatchewan],” said Wilfrid Laurier University president and vice-chancellor Deborah MacLatchy in an email statement.

“He’ll be able to transition easily because he knows the Ontario system while also bringing ideas about best practices from another province.”

Vannelli’s hiring is the second replacement of a major senior leadership role at Laurier for the fall of 2020, after the announcement that David McMurray would be retiring as vice-president of student affairs in June. Laurier also hired Heidi Northwood as the SEO of the Brantford campus in the summer of 2019, slowly piecing together a strong executive leadership team.

The previous provost and vice-president: academic was Rob Gordon, who departed in 2019 after he was named president and vice-chancellor of the University of Windsor.

Vannelli has also had tenures at the University of Waterloo as an associate dean of research and external partnerships, as well as serving as the dean of the college of engineering and physical sciences at the University of Guelph.

“He brings a wealth of experience as a student-focused academic leader who has successfully built academic programs, supported research engagement, and worked in a multi-campus university,” MacLatchy continued in an email statement.

“These are all areas critical to Laurier’s success as we concentrate on a key priority of our strategic vision, a focus on future readiness of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni.”

The role of the provost and vice-president: academic is to oversee experiential learning, community engagement and academic integrity, not only of current students but to also prepare the next generation of Golden Hawks for their time at Wilfrid Laurier University.

The responsibility also includes giving strategic direction for shared services and academic programming, budget and academic planning, resource allocation and academic labour relations.

“His collaborative and collegial style is a great fit for our thriving and inclusive community, one in which our goal is that every member feels welcome and contributes,” MacLatchy concluded in an email statement.

Bringing years of experience and knowledge to Laurier, other roles that have prepared Vannelli are his position as the chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Waterloo where he helped advance women in engineering as well as creating the first nanotechnology program for the school.

Vannelli has also been named a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) university research fellow, a role  that he held at the University of Toronto.

Laurier is rounding out their senior leadership team with the addition of Vannelli before they look to fill a large gap that will be left in McMurray’s role in the following months.

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