|Professor Rick Halpern will begin his term as dean effective July 1.|
Halpern has both academic, administrative
by Elaine Smith
Success breeds success, so after overseeing an effective financial
recovery process at New College, Principal Rick
Halpern has been selected as the new vice-principal
(academic) and dean at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
Academic Board's appointments committee has approved the appointment
of Halpern, a history professor, succeeding Professor Ragnar-Olaf
Buchweitz, whose term ends June 30. Halpern's five-year term will
begin July 1.
"This is a unique opportunity to contribute to the growth of UTSC
and to play an important leadership role within the university at a
time when it faces both formidable challenges and unprecedented
opportunities," said Halpern. "It is clear that over the
next few years, there will be a tremendous widening of intellectual
bandwidth at UTSC and an institutionalization of fertile
cross-disciplinary programming on a number of levels; I look forward
to working with colleagues there on this exciting project."
Halpern has strong credentials, both academically and
admininistratively. He earned his PhD in history at the University of
Pennsylvania and moved from there to the Department of History at
University College, London. U of T recruited him in 2001 as the first
Bissell-Heyd Professor of American Studies. From 2004 to 2006,
following terms as associate director and then acting director, he has
served as director of the Centre for the Study of the United States at
the Munk Centre for International Studies. Halpern is a senior fellow
at Massey College and since 2006 he has served as principal of New
Halpern is a specialist in modern U.S. history and has written
extensively on race and labour in a number of national and
transnational contexts. His work is situated between the social
sciences and humanities, with reach into the sciences, affording him
an understanding of the multidisciplinary goals of UTSC. Much of his
scholarly work has been collaborative, involving work with scholars
from other disciplines and international teams of researchers.
As director of the then-newly created Centre of the Study of the
United States, Halpern forged a dynamic academic community by
connecting academics from a number of disciplines as well as various
government agencies and business groups in Canada and the U.S.,
helping them realize their common intellectual ground and building the
profile of the new centre.
His work at New College included a restructuring of operations,
staffing and student support, as well as new resource-generating
intitiatives. He has been actively involved in successful advancement
endeavours, alumni activities, recruitment strategy and programs and
has been committed to creating a focus on students. His senior
administrative experience also includes active participation in the
Towards 2030 planning exercise.
"Professor Halpern brings a combination of academic qualifications, administrative experience and leadership style that fit exceptionally well with the demands of the dean's position at this exciting point in U of T Scarborough's continued development," said Principal Franco Vaccarino.