Appointment of Professor Rhonda McEwen as Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean, University of Toronto Mississauga (PDAD&C #49)

From: Alexandra Gillespie, Vice-President & Principal, University of Toronto Mississauga
Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Date: March 4, 2021
Re: Appointment of Professor Rhonda McEwen as Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean, University of Toronto Mississauga (PDAD&C #49)

We are delighted to announce that the Agenda Committee of Academic Board has approved the appointment of Professor Rhonda McEwen as Vice-Principal, Academic & Dean, University of Toronto Mississauga for a five-year term, beginning July 1, 2021.

Professor McEwen is a distinguished scholar and information technology professional whose research focuses on emerging media and human-machine communication, with an emphasis on cognitive informatics. Professor McEwen currently serves as Special Advisor to the Vice-President & Principal, UTM on Anti-Racism and Equity, as well as Director of the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information & Technology (ICCIT) at UTM.

Professor McEwen’s research has received numerous awards, including a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair for tactile interfaces, communication, and cognition; an Ontario Centres of Excellence grant investigating student time management and self-regulation using gamification technology; as well as numerous SSHRC Insight Grants exploring emerging technologies and their consequences for human communication and learning across the lifespan. As a result, Professor McEwen’s impactful research is often in local and international media, including features on CBC, and on 60 Minutes in the USA and Australia. Professor McEwen has also published a peer-reviewed book, with another forthcoming, and has more than 30 articles in top-ranked venues such as New Media and Society, Information, Communication & Society, Computers and Education, International Journal of Information Management, and Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. The breadth and depth of Professor McEwen’s interdisciplinary work is reflected in the range and regularity of her invited conferences, and she was the closing speaker for the launch of the Schwartz-Reisman Institute for Technology and Society in 2019.

In both of her current administrative roles, Professor McEwen has demonstrated a keen ability for leadership and fostering academic excellence. Some of her accomplishments include growing enrollment at ICCIT by more than 20% in the past 5 years, improving the student retention rate to over 90%, and increasing the number of successful student grant applications by 70%. Professor McEwen has also played a key role in the development of ICCIT as a standalone unit over the years, following its foundation and initial partnership with Sheridan College. Her achievements include overhauling the curriculum, budget, infrastructure, and academic policies at ICCIT, and leading the development of a new Professional Experience Certificate in Digital Media, Communication and Technology. In light of her dedication to student support and excellence, Professor McEwen was appointed by the Provost as a member of the Expert Panel on Undergraduate Student Educational Experience in 2018-19.

Professor McEwen completed her BSc in Sociology and Management at the University of West Indies, St. Augustine; her MBA in Information Technology Management at City, University of London Business School; and her MSc in Telecommunications at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Prior to starting her PhD at the Faculty of Information, Professor McEwen worked for 12 years as a management consultant – including at Deloitte and IBM – where she oversaw the strategic planning and business development for technology organizations in the Caribbean, the UK, Europe, USA, and Canada. After completing her PhD, Professor McEwen joined the Faculty of Information and started at ICCIT in 2011.

Professor McEwen’s leadership at ICCIT, as well as her dedication to student success and excellence, and commitment to issues of anti-racism and equity will be critical to UTM’s continued success in years ahead. Please join us in congratulating Professor McEwen on this appointment.