New vice-president of research for Laurier university announced

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Photo by Will Borys

Effective Aug. 1, 2019, Jonathan Newman will take over as the new vice-president of research at Wilfrid Laurier University, lead the Office of Research Services and support and grow research opportunities throughout Laurier.

Newman will be coming into the role with a wealth of experience: a professor of ecology, he has worked at the University of Guelph for over 15 years, serving as the director of the School of Environmental Sciences from 2009-2015 and the dean of the College of Biological Science at the University of Guelph since 2015.

He has also worked for the University of Oxford and Southern Illinois University, is the lead author of over 100 academic publications and received the 2011 “Alumni Award for Excellence” in “Science and Technology” from the University at Albany. 

“[Newman] comes into the role of vice-president: research at Laurier with an impeccable record in terms of his leadership as a researcher and teacher and, also, his role as an administrator,” said Robert Gordon, provost and vice-president: academic at Laurier.

“He’s certainly got a really strong balance of, I think, helping to shape the Laurier research growth over the next five years, so we’re really thrilled to have him on board.”

“It will really help further shape what we do around research, how we make sure that research is effectively meeting the needs of our students [and] how we translate research in the classroom.”

Gordon was the former vice-president of research at Laurier. However, Newman will be succeeding Jeffery Jones, psychology professor and director of the Laurier Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, who was Laurier’s interim vice-president of research since 2018.

As one of the senior, executive positions within the university, the role of the vice-president of  research is to support research funding and decide how it will is competitively generated.

He will evaluate various sources, work with funding agencies to support faculty, undergraduate and graduate students and help to shape the research directions that the university is focused on.

The current directions the university are concentrated on is outlined in the current “Strategic Research Plan: 2014-2019,” an area that Newman will be paying attention to for the coming year.

“One of the key roles that Jonathan will play over the next few years is developing that next strategic research plan,” Gordon said.

“It will really help further shape what we do around research, how we make sure that research is effectively meeting the needs of our students [and] how we translate research in the classroom.”

With over 500 faculty at Laurier involved in research, to some degree, and given the fact that, according to Gordon, Laurier has “grown as one of the fastest-growing research universities in the country over the past five years,” Newman’s role will be to build upon the current administration’s success in the near future. 

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