Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
August 25, 2003
U of G names associate VP (research) agri-food and partnerships
Rob McLaughlin, former dean of the Ontario Agricultural College and current vice-president (alumni affairs and development), has been seconded to the position of associate vice-president (research) agri-food and partnerships, effective Sept. 1.
"Rob has done an excellent job overseeing the start of our successful $75-million capital fundraising campaign," says President Alastair Summerlee. "Given the pressing needs in the area of agri-food and our dedication to our partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF), I am very grateful that he has agreed to serve in this capacity."
Alan Wildeman, vice-president (research), adds: "Rob's commitment to agriculture in this province is unmatched. His distinguished career includes serving with OMAF and as OAC dean. This position provides Rob with the opportunity to combine his dedication to agriculture with his expansive knowledge of the external and University communities."
As associate vice-president (research) agri-food and partnerships, McLaughlin will play a lead role in the partnership agreement between OMAF and the University, as well as in other key agri-food partnerships.
"There are significant and continuing challenges and opportunities facing the agri-food industry, and I am excited about getting back into it – it's what I know and what I do," McLaughlin says. "I plan to continue to work closely with faculty, staff and our OMAF partners to ensure that Guelph remains a leader in agri-food activity."
McLaughlin was a professor, extension co-ordinator and research station supervisor in the University's former Department of Crop Science. He later served as OAC dean for 10 years, where he was credited with raising the profile of research and teaching. In July 2000, he moved to Alumni Affairs and Development. At OMAF, he was executive director of the education and research division and director of the plant industry branch.
"Rob McLaughlin's appointment can only serve to enhance the productive partnership that has existed between OMAF and the university," says Frank Ingratta, Deputy Minister of OMAF. "Rob's agrifood expertise and enthusiasm will be enormously valuable as we move forward in support of this critical sector."
McLaughlin is a past chair of the Agricultural Leadership Trust board and the Country Heritage Experience, a current governor and director of the Royal Winter Fair, and director of the Ontario 4-H Foundation. He earned his bachelor's degree from U of G in 1969 and farmed for five years before returning to Guelph for graduate school, earning a doctorate in 1977.
Beginning Sept. 1, Pamela Healey will serve as acting vice-president (alumni affairs and development). She is currently the assistant vice-president and has division-wide responsibilities that include providing leadership and strategic planning to meet future fundraising challenges, and fostering community relationships.
For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.