The University of Guelph has appointed a new dean in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences (CSAHS). Dr. Uwafiokun Idemudia, currently chair of the Department of Social Science at York University, will begin a five-year term Jan. 1, 2023.
The announcement was made today by Dr. Gwen Chapman, provost and vice-president (academic), who chaired the search committee.
“Dr. Idemudia brings passion and vision to the role of CSAHS dean and new ideas for academic programming, strengthening research and internationalization,” Chapman said.
“He is committed to working collaboratively to enhance the shared vision for the College and find ways to strengthen its role at U of G and regionally, nationally, and internationally.
“He has strong experience in leading and building consensus within a large, diverse social science unit, as well as in institutional efforts to enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion.”
A York University faculty member since 2007, Idemudia chairs the largest department in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. He is a member of York’s programs in international development studies, African studies, and business and society, and is a fellow and executive member of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and Its Diaspora.
He is also an adjunct professor with the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, St. Paul’s College, at the University of Manitoba.
Idemudia belongs to York’s President’s Advisory Group on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. He has also served as coordinator of both the African studies program and the international development studies program as well as director of the York transition year program.
He studies and teaches political economy/ecology of natural resources extraction, business and sustainable development, the cultural politics of development, and Black geographies.
Idemudia received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant to analyze corporate peacebuilding strategies and is part of a Partnership Engage Grant research project on marginality and COVID-19, specifically examining Blackness, resilience, and sustainable development goals.
His work has been published in highly ranked journals and has helped shaped government policies in Nigeria and Ghana.
He previously served as vice-president and president of the Canadian Association of African Studies. He is a volunteer research collaborator and board member for non-governmental organizations in Africa.
Idemudia holds a B.Sc. (Hons.) in biological sciences from the University of Ilorin in Nigeria, an MA in diplomatic studies and international affairs from the University of Westminster and a Ph.D. in geography from Lancaster University.
At U of G, Idemudia will be a faculty member in the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics.
“It gives me great pleasure to be joining CSAHS at the University of Guelph,” Idemudia said. “I am particularly looking forward to working collaboratively with our students, staff and faculty members to ensure that the college maintains its standing as an outstanding place to learn, work and thrive. I see enormous opportunity here for the delivery of exceptional student experience, support for interdisciplinary research and progress toward reconciliation, Indigenization and decolonization. Given CSAHS’s historical commitment to social justice, we will continue to champion and foster equity, diversity and inclusivity throughout the college.
In making the announcement, Chapman thanked search committee members and the University community for their participation and commitment. She also thanked Dr. Byron Sheldrick for his strong and ongoing service as interim dean. Sheldrick will continue in the role until January.