The University of Guelph’s Board of Governors has named Dr. Gwen Chapman as provost and vice-president (academic). Her five-year term begins May 1.

The announcement was made today by U of G president Dr. Charlotte Yates, who chaired the selection committee for the position.

“I am delighted to inform the U of G community that Dr. Chapman will be our next provost,” Yates said.

“Gwen is truly a champion for the entire University. She values U of G’s academic strengths across the disciplines and the contributions of everyone from students, faculty and staff to alumni to colleagues across Canada and beyond.

“She possesses great skill and strengths as a leader, a team builder and a collaborator, and works tirelessly to advance and support the University and everyone who works and learns here. She is known for her fairness, her collaborative nature and her enthusiasm for knowledge.”

Yates said Chapman, who has served as interim provost since August 2020, has a clear vision for the post-COVID-19 University and is known for her strong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

“Her awareness of the challenges and opportunities for growth and change in the future will help position U of G for success,” Yates said.

As provost and vice president (academic), Chapman oversees a portfolio that focuses on implementation of the University’s academic priorities, including delivery of high-quality educational programming; recruitment and retention of faculty and other staff and students; and alignment of budget resources with U of G’s academic mission and vision.

She joined U of G in 2016 as dean of the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences (CSAHS). As dean, she expanded interdisciplinary academic programming; enhanced the college’s reputation for engaged teaching and research; increased supports and resources for faculty, students and staff; created equity and diversity strategies; and developed relationships with alumni and donors.

I am honoured and thrilled to be able to continue to serve as provost and vice-president (academic) at the University of Guelph,” Chapman said.

“From the day I joined the University early in 2016, I have felt at home here, part of a community that shares core values that are important to me, and with a vision, mission and ethos that resonate with me and that I can champion as one of the University’s academic leaders.”

Chapman will continue as a faculty member in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition.

Before joining U of G, she was associate dean (academic) of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia. Her research program explores how people’s everyday food practices are shaped by understandings and beliefs about food, health, bodies, and social roles. She is an innovative educator who has received prestigious teaching awards.

She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan and her master’s and PhD in nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto.

In making today’s announcement, Yates thanked members of the search committee as well as the U of G community, whose input helped to inform the committee’s decision-making. Dr. Byron Sheldrick will continue to serve as acting CSAHS dean while the University conducts a formal search to fill the position permanently.