The University of British Columbia Board of Governors has approved the appointment of Louise Cowin as the new Vice President, Students. Cowin will begin her five-year term in October 2011.
Cowin has held a variety of university administrative and teaching roles, the most recent as Warden of Hart House at the University of Toronto. In her new role as VP, Students, Cowin will have leadership responsibility for shaping the student experience and broad learning environment at UBC. Her portfolio includes student development and services, student housing and hospitality services and athletics and recreation.
“Dr. Cowin’s background in teaching, leadership and administration, with a focus on enhancing the student experience through a lens of inclusion and excellence, will lend considerable experience to her new position,” says Stephen Toope, President and Vice Chancellor of UBC. “I look forward to working with Dr. Cowin to provide our students with unique opportunities and an exceptional educational experience.”
Cowin will succeed Brian Sullivan as VP, Students. Sullivan, who held the position from 1999 to 2011, stepped down in March and is now an advisor to UBC Alumni Affairs. Louise Nasmith was appointed VP, Students, pro-tem, and will continue in that role until October.
Prior to her appointment as Warden of Hart House, Cowin was the Director of Student Services and the School-University Partnerships Office at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. In this role, Cowin focused on enhancing supports for students, diversifying co-curricular programming and on equity and diversity initiatives.
“I look forward to working with the UBC community to develop, implement and move forward initiatives that energize the aspirations contained in Place and Promise to enhance the student experience,” says Cowin.
Cowin holds a PhD in Educational Studies from McGill University, a MSc in Physical Education from Dalhousie University and a BA (Hons) in Educational and Sports Studies from Borough Road Physical Education College. She has held tenure-streamed positions at Queen’s University and Dalhousie University and taught as an instructor at UBC, Dalhousie University and the University of Toronto. Cowin was also the associate director of a fine and performing arts camp and the director of a non-profit camp for children who have had open heart surgery or transplants.
The University of British Columbia is one of North America’s largest public research and teaching institutions, and one of only two Canadian institutions consistently ranked among the world’s 40 best universities. Surrounded by the beauty of the Canadian West, it is a place that inspires bold, new ways of thinking that have helped make it a national leader in areas as diverse as community service learning, sustainability and research commercialization. UBC offers more than 50,000 students a range of innovative programs and attracts $550 million per year in research funding from government, non-profit organizations and industry through 7,000 grants.