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Halpern re-appointed to second term as UTSC’s dean and vp-academic

Professor Rick Halpern has been appointed to a second five-year term as Dean and Vice Principal, Academic at UTSC. (Photo by Ken Jones)

Prof. Rick Halpern has been appointed to a second five-year term as Dean and Vice Principal, Academic at the University of Toronto Scarborough, UTSC Principal Franco Vaccarino announced. Halpern’s appointment follows a positive Review Committee report. The term begins July 1st.

Prof. Halpern has been an exceptionally strong academic leader during a period of significant growth and transformation. “Today, UTSC is wonderfully positioned to build on the major evolution of our academic programs and departments as they have grown in both size and reputation under Rick’s leadership,” said Vaccarino. “He is highly regarded by faculty, students and members of our broader community, and is widely appreciated for his innovation and commitment to advancing the academic mission of this great campus.”

During Prof. Halpern’s first term as dean, he played a key role in building campus capacity, especially in terms of academic leadership, departmental structure, and faculty complement. The faculty complement has grown by more than 20 per cent and the number of academic departments has grown from eight to 17, including two graduate departments. Under Prof. Halpern’s leadership the campus also has seen an exciting period of curricular innovation and renewal. UTSC programs have garnered enthusiastic praise from external reviewers and are attracting a growing number of top students. Prof. Halpern also oversaw the introduction of new Masters and PhD programs in Environmental Science and in Clinical Psychology, which have exceeded enrolment targets.

Prof. Halpern has transformed UTSC’s outreach efforts through the expansion of the successful Green Path program to recruit exceptional students from the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan; building collaborative agreements with universities in China to facilitate faculty and student exchange; strengthening joint programs with Centennial College and developing new articulation agreements with Seneca College; and forging strong connections with other U of T divisions.

“It is an honour to serve as dean and vp-academic at UTSC,” Prof. Halpern said.  “I am extremely fortunate to work with world-class faculty, talented students, committed staff, and enthusiastic alumni. I am confident we will meet the ambitious strategic goals we have set for UTSC in the coming years.”

Halpern, a specialist in modern U.S. history, joined U of T in 2001 when he was recruited as the first Bissell-Heyd Professor of American Studies.  He served as director of the Centre for the Study of the United States at the Munk Centre for International Studies and as senior fellow at Massey College. Before his appointment as dean and vice-principal academic at UTSC, he was principal of New College.

Prof. Halpern earned his BA and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and his MA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

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