Dr. Julia Christensen Hughes

Dr. Julia Christensen Hughes, the founding dean of the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics, has been named the new president of Yorkville University. She begins her appointment July 1.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Dr. Christensen Hughes, whose leadership and contributions to U of G are well known, particularly as dean of the Lang School of Business and Economics,” said Gwen Chapman, vice-president (academic).

“Her leadership was critical to establishing the school and building its strengths, focus and reputation leading up its being named as the Lang School and preparing for its successful accreditation. She is a dynamic, passionate, innovative and entrepreneurial leader – ideal for the role of president of Yorkville University.”

First named dean in 2009, Christensen Hughes completed two five-year terms concluding in June 2019. She was known for her enthusiasm, energy and commitment, especially for establishing the Lang School as a leader in sustainable business education.

During her tenure, the Lang School was ranked multiple times among the country’s top business schools for sustainability by Corporate Knights, one of the world’s largest media publishers focused on responsible business.

The Lang School was also recognized as a champion of the United Nations PRME initiative for integrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals in its curriculum and research. Christensen Hughes discussed the initiative before numerous global audiences, including at the United Nations General Assembly.

A U of G faculty member since 1987, Christensen Hughes served as director of U of G’s Teaching Support Services for 10 years. She was also president of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and was appointed chair of the Department of Business in 2007.

She received the University’s John Bell Award for outstanding educational leadership and the Edward F. Sheffield Award for research excellence.

“I have had a wonderfully rich and fulfilling career at University of Guelph and will forever hold Guelph and the Lang School of Business and Economics in my heart,” Christensen Hughes said.

“And while I have accepted an opportunity too exciting to pass up, I will be continuing collaborations with Guelph faculty, graduate students and others in support of my ongoing research projects.”

Christensen Hughes will continue to work with the Lang School as adjunct faculty to advance research on academic integrity challenges, assessment of business school rankings, and to address critical issues facing scholars and students.

The largest private university in Canada, Yorkville University offers in-person and online programs at campuses in Toronto, Vancouver and Fredericton, N.B. Its professional, career-oriented offerings include diploma, undergraduate and master’s programs and a doctorate of counselling and psychotherapy.