Organizational Effectiveness Progress Reports | Ontario Agricultural College

Organizational Effectiveness Progress Reports

Progress on elevating "Organizational Effectiveness"

Fall 2021 & Winter 2022 

  • OAC staff members participated in a central initiative to implement a new electronic CV application, UniWeb, that aligns to the Canadian Common CV and will support grant applications. Their ongoing contributions will support the transition and ensure OAC’s needs are met by the new system. 
  • Sean Kelly was reappointed as director of the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD) for a five-year term beginning January 1, 2022. 
  • Dr. Hugh Earl was reappointed as chair of the Department of Plant Agriculture for a five-year term beginning September 1, 2022. Dr. Eric Lyons was named acting chair of the department from January 1, 2022 to August 31, 2022.
  • The OAC Dean’s Office launched a tripartite IT service, encompassing Ridgetown Campus, several OAC academic units at the Guelph campus and the College of Arts. As part of the service, faculty members in participating units were offered a computer subsidy.

Winter & Summer 2021

  • Dr. Rene Van Acker was been reappointed dean of OAC for a five-year term, effective Sept. 1, 2021.

  • The Department of Plant Agriculture appointed Dr. Kim Schneider as faculty supervisor for the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming. Schneider will support the farm coordinator and faculty advisor to plan day-to-day operations and provide strategic direction for the farm.

  • The Department of Animal Biosciences created a department handbook for faculty, staff and students. The handbook provides a detailed overview of the department including academic programs, personnel, facilities, standard operating procedures, academic resources and department committees.
  • Dr. Andy Robinson, Department of Animal Biosciences, created an OAC Teaching Network on Courselink to provide easier access to resources for remote teaching. 
  • OAC hosted the first virtual Equine Exploration Program Information Night. It was a collaborative event between Ridgetown, Clinton, and Guelph campuses staff and students.
  • OAC hosted the first virtual Diploma Program Information Night, a collaborative event between staff and students at the Ridgetown and Guelph campuses.
  • Dr. Paul Sibley was appointed as the director of the School of Environmental Sciences. Sibley served as interim director for eight months, leading up to his appointment. His five-year term began on September 1, 2021.
  • The Business Development Centre of Ridgetown Campus hired a project manager to support the development of the University of Guelph Foundations in Agricultural Management, an e-learning course made possible through a partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Farm Credit Canada (FCC).

Summer & Fall 2020

  • Prof. Emmanuelle Arnaud was appointed as the Assistant Dean Graduate Programs for OAC. Her two-year term will begin on January 1, 2021. In this new role, Emmanuelle will support the portfolio of the Associate Dean – Research and Graduate Studies by leading the development of new graduate programs, including micro-credentials.  
  • Brett Shepherd was named director of the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus. The two-time U of G graduate began on Nov. 16. As Ridgetown’s eleventh director, he will oversee critical, day-to-day business functions of the campus.
  • Prof. Simon Lachance was appointed as the Assistant Dean Academic for the Ridgetown Campus. His five-year appointment began on October 12, 2020. In this new role, he will support academic programming and recruitment for the Campus.
  • Prof. Jon Warland was appointed as the Associate Dean (Academic) for the college. His five-year term beings on January 1, 2021. He will act as key member of the OAC senior leadership team responsible for leading and managing academic processes in the college. Prof. Paul Sibley will be the acting director of the School of Environmental Sciences while an internal search takes place.
  • The Department of Plant Agriculture appointed Prof. Barry Micallef as faculty advisor for the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming and hired Jessica Gale as the farm coordinator. Both positions will support farm operations, collaboration and economic sustainability.  
  • The Dean’s Office has created two new roles to support the effectiveness of its operations: a Projects Coordinator for the office of the Associate Dean – Research and Graduate Studies and an IT Services Technician. Alumni Affairs and Development have also reimagined a role in support of OAC; the new Senior Advancement Manager role will support annual giving and campaign development for the college’s upcoming 150th anniversary in 2024. 
  • The Arboretum converted all paper evaluation forms for workshops and events to Qualtrics online forms, to facilitate more efficient program evaluation and data driven decision making.
  • Although the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming (GCUOF) remained closed for the year due to COVID-19, fresh produce grown on the farm was not wasted. GCUOF produce was used by Hospitality Services for on-campus dining and in meals prepared for The SEED. Some vegetables were also distributed to those living in Family and Graduate Student Housing on campus. 
  • The Space Visioning Study for OAC (on the Guelph campus) is complete and will be delivered by the end of 2020. The study will inform OAC’s decision-making on space in alignment with our strategic priorities. It will be a key tool in guiding the improvement of OAC space through renovation, adaptation, renewal, new construction, and reallocation to address changes anticipated over a 10-year horizon.

Winter 2020

  • Two leadership searches were launched for University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus. An external search was launched for the 11th director of the campus in preparation for the successful completion of Ken McEwan’s time as Ridgetown Campus director, and a new leadership role, Assistant Dean, Academic – Ridgetown Campus, was created to support the campus’ growth and success. 
  • A new director for the Arboretum was hired in January. Justine Richardson will work with Arboretum staff and volunteers to develop strategic plans for the teaching and research mandate of the Arboretum. One of her key mandates is operational planning to support the Arboretum and its important role as a place for student and community learning and wellness.
  • A new ListServ structure was created for efficient email communication to all OAC staff, faculty and graduate students. This was done through a collaborative effort by the academic unit admins and IT staff.

Fall 2019

  • The entire college began a comprehensive IT review with PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) to identify ways to improve efficiency, enhance services and plan for the future. 
  • The Department of Animal Biosciences initiated a succession planning process through a workshop held this fall. The discussions centered around leadership positions for the department and resources needed for future planning. 
  • The Departments of Food Science and Animal Biosciences have begun documenting, and posting online, policies and procedures so that students, staff and faculty have access to the most up to date departmental processes.
  • The academic leaders of the college want to include a special mention of the various University administrative processes that have been put online recently. Moving important and sometime complicated forms and approval processes to online platforms have been incredibly helpful to faculty and staff in OAC. 
  • The School of Environmental Design and Rural Development renovated an underutilized computer lab into a digital media lab for its landscape architecture students and researchers. 
  • The Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics converted and renovated their seminar room into a student learning room to support student group work. The room also includes teleconferencing abilities to support remote connection.

Summer 2019

  • The Department of Animal Biosciences made many upgrades to its facilities, including classrooms, common spaces and research facilities (feed preparation facility, meat lab and abattoir and laboratory facilities). The department also installed audio-visual and video conferencing facilities in six different locations, which is used for graduate student defenses, seminars and meetings. 

Updated March 20, 2023.