Student Life, St. George – Organizational Structure Update

From: Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost, Students
Date: June 27, 2019
Re: Student Life, St. George – Organizational Structure Update

I am writing to provide you with an update to the organizational structure in Student Life. Over the past while we have taken some time to carefully review the needs of the University along with the services and programs that support our students. Many of you will know that we conducted an External Review of Student Life, whose report supported the launch of the Undergraduate Student Educational Experience (USEE) Expert Panel, informed aspects of the Tri-Campus review of student services, and provided direction for many other initiatives within Student Life, including the implementation of processes to develop a Strategic Plan and an Organization Learning & Renewal framework. In reviewing the recommendations from the reviewers and consulting with senior academic and administrative leadership, I am pleased to announce a new organizational structure for Student Life on the St. George campus.

The Student Life Senior Management team will consist of David Newman, Heather Kelly, Janine Robb, and Katherine Beaumont. Hart House will continue to partner and work closely with Student Life, but will not be formally within its organizational structure. John Monahan, Warden of Hart House, will continue to be in the broader Vice-Provost, Students’ portfolio and report to me. David Newman, Heather Kelly, and Janine Robb will report directly to me in this new organization and Katherine Beaumont will continue to report to both me and Joe Wong, Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost, International Student Experience.

Many of you will know that within the interim structure of Student Life, I have asked both Heather Kelly and David Newman to assume shared responsibility for oversight of Student Life. Effective immediately, we are moving out of the interim structure and have redefined both of their roles.

David Newman will now assume the role of Executive Director, Student Experience. In this role, David will have broad responsibility across Student Life for coordination of resources, operations, shared services, organizational support, and issues management. This role will continue to have oversight of the Student Crisis Response, Progress, and Support Team and to play an important role in incident management. Additionally, David will be responsible for the management of many institutional student experience projects and initiatives and will continue to have oversight of institutional assessment projects involving students. David’s direct reports include:

  • Kristin Radley, Executive Assistant to the Executive Director, Student Experience
  • Serena Persaud, Chief Administrative Officer
  • Nancy Okada, Director, Student Life IT
  • Tony Bowman, Director, Student Life Communications
  • Jeff Burrow, Manager, Assessment & Analysis
  • Student Crisis Response, Progress, and Support Team (7 positions)
  • Julia Smeed, Innovation Projects Officer
  • Kimberly Elias, Student Life Project Manager

Heather Kelly will now assume the role of Executive Director, Student Life Programs & Services. Heather will have responsibility for the program and service oversight of the student-facing units in Student Life, with the exception of Health & Wellness and the Centre for International Experience. In this new portfolio, we are aligning units in a more connected way to provide a more cohesive student experience. As part of this change, Adam Kuhn will assume a broader portfolio that includes both the Multi-faith Centre and the Graduate Conflict Resolution Centre. Both Richard Chambers and Heather McGhee-Peggs will continue in their respective roles, leading their portfolios and providing valuable programs and services for the university. Heather Kelly’s direct reports include:

  • Sarah Matias, Executive Assistant to the Executive Director, Student Life Programs & Services
  • Amelia Merrick, Director, Career & Experiential Learning
  • Arlene Clement, Director, Housing & TCard Services
  • Mike Nicholson, Director, Accessibility Services
  • Shannon Simpson, Director, Indigenous Student Services
  • Adam Kuhn, Director, Student & Campus Community Development
    • Richard Chambers, Director, Multi-faith Centre
    • Heather McGhee-Peggs, Manager, Graduate Conflict Resolution Centre
  • Director, Academic Success
  • Lynn Brownlie, Associate Director, Student Success

I would like to thank Student Life staff members and the larger University community for your patience and continued contributions and commitment to the student experience as we worked to towards developing a new organization for Student Life. As we step into the work of developing a new Strategic Plan and Organizational Learning & Renewal framework, we will be reaching out again for your feedback and comments. Any questions or concerns may be directed to my office at