Reappointment of Professor Joshua Barker as Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Research & Education (PDAD&C #77)

From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Date: June 16, 2021
Re: Reappointment of Professor Joshua Barker as Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Research & Education (PDAD&C #77)

I am pleased to announce that the Agenda Committee of Academic Board has approved the reappointment of Professor Joshua Barker as Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and the Executive Committee of Governing Council has approved of his reappointment as Vice-Provost of Graduate Research & Education for a five-year term from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2027.

The graduate community at U of T has benefited immensely from Professor Barker’s leadership. As Dean, he has been a steadfast advocate for the graduate student experience and has transformed the School of Graduate Studies into a centre of excellence that provides support to students, faculty, and staff across the University and its three campuses. Professor Barker’s achievements include launching the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which provides funding to graduate Faculties to support the hiring of postdoctoral fellows from underrepresented groups; chairing the Tri-Campus Review’s graduate pillar, which was tasked with creating a framework for graduate excellence across the University; and, launching the new SGS GradHub, which provides a central place for students to find and access the many resources available across U of T’s graduate ecosystem. Most recently, Professor Barker has begun work on the new Centre for Graduate Mentorship and Supervision – which will serve as a focal point for supports, learning, and outreach aimed at promoting excellence in graduate mentorship and supervision to supervisees, supervisors, and other members of the graduate community.

Prior to joining the School of Graduate Studies, Professor Barker was the Vice-Dean, Graduate Education at the Faculty of Arts & Science. In this role, he developed a broad base of experience on graduate matters and consulted widely with students and faculty to develop a strategy to improve graduate student morale by increasing graduate student funding over three years. He also took the lead on establishing the Milestones and Pathways Program at the Faculty, which provides support for discipline-specific graduate student professional development. In addition to his time as Vice-Dean, Professor Barker has also held several other academic leadership positions, including Director of the Asian Institute and Acting Chair of the Department of Anthropology.

Professor Barker’s research areas include urban anthropology, science and technology studies, and political anthropology. His research focuses primarily on Indonesia, where he has conducted ethnographic field research on a range of groups, including: the police and civilian guards; information technology engineers and entrepreneurs; and city-level journalists. Professor Barker received a PhD from Cornell University, an MA from SOAS University of London, and a BA from Trent University.

Professor Barker’s exceptional leadership, dedication to students, and commitment to inclusive excellence will be key to the continued success of the University’s graduate community in the years ahead. Please join me in congratulating Professor Barker on this appointment.