Ridgetown Campus begins search for next campus Director and new academic lead

Posted on Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

Two leadership searches have commenced to support growth at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus.

An external search has been launched for the 11th director of the campus in preparation for the successful completion of Ken McEwan’s time as Ridgetown Campus director.

McEwan will be director until June 2020. He will then support new infrastructure initiatives on the Ridgetown Campus for a transitionary year, with a focus on completing fundraising for the Sustainable Crop Research and Innovation Centre. McEwan will then return to his role as a college research professor in July 2021.

“Ken has been a very dedicated and steady leader for the Ridgetown Campus through times of transition,” says Rene Van Acker, dean of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) of the University of Guelph. “I am so pleased that after the end of his term as director he will be continuing to support the campus’ special infrastructure projects to ensure a smooth transition of leadership and partnerships.”

McEwan is well known for his ability to bring external groups, government, industry and the campus together on strategic initiatives. Under his leadership the campus expanded its administrative capacity with the new Pestell Student Service Centre, opened a new swine education centre, re-launched the equine diploma program and supported strong enrollment trends. The campus has grown and evolved in the core areas of applied education, research and outreach.

“It has been a great privilege to be part of the University of Guelph as the director of the Ridgetown Campus,” says McEwan, “and work within the agricultural sector in a transformational role with students, staff, and industry partners.”

The OAC Dean’s Office, to which Ridgetown Campus reports administratively, will launch an external search to fill the director role in the coming days. The search will be conducted by Prime Management Group (PMG), based out of London, ON. See https://www.pmg.on.ca/ for more details.

“It was important to us that we select a local firm to assist with the director search,” says Van Acker. “PMG has worked with the campus in the past and have a good understanding of its unique opportunities.”

The new director is expected to be in place by July 2020.

A new leadership role, Assistant Dean, Academic – Ridgetown Campus, has also been created to support the campus’ growth and success.

“The campus is a robust place with unique and increasing demands,” says Van Acker. “We know investment is required to ensure the campus can take advantage of opportunities, grow its education capacity and be nimble in times of change. We’ve created this new role as part of our commitment to student success.”

The assistant dean will report to the Associate Dean – Academic in the OAC Dean’s Office but will be located at Ridgetown Campus.

This role will be responsible for program oversight and development and academic leadership for the campus.

The search will be internal to the University of Guelph and the job advertisement will be posted on the University of Guelph's Faculty Recruitment site in the coming months.

“It is key that the Ridgetown Campus community, stakeholders and alumni are integral to the selection of both leadership positions,” says Van Acker. “We will create opportunities for feedback through the selection committees once they have been established.”

The selection committees will be announced soon and will include representatives of the campus community and stakeholders says Van Acker.

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