Update on the Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost Strategic Initiatives (PDAD&C #42)

From: Leah Cowen, Vice-President, Research & Innovation, & Strategic Initiatives
Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost 
Date: May 18, 2022 
Re: Update on the Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost Strategic Initiatives (PDAD&C #42)

Professor Christine Allen will be stepping down as Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost Strategic Initiatives (AVP-VP SI) effective June 30, 2022. She has accepted an exciting new role as Vice President, Ecosystem Development at adMare Bioinnovations. adMare uses its scientific and commercial expertise, specialized R&D infrastructure, and investment capital to build investable Canadian companies, robust ecosystems and industry-ready talent. 

As the inaugural AVP-VP SI, Professor Allen served the University with distinction by cultivating the Institutional Strategic Initiatives (ISI) portfolio and working closely with academic divisions to develop cross-divisional, excellence-driven institutional initiatives, including the Acceleration Consortium, Data Sciences Institute, Critical Digital Humanities Network, Emerging and Pandemic Infections Consortium, Black Research Network and Indigenous Research Network. 

As a passionate advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), Professor Allen led the implementation of recommendations from the Working Group Report on EDI in research and innovation and addressed recommendations from the Scarborough Charter and the U of T Anti-Black Racism Task Force including the recruitment of U of T’s first Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research and Innovation, the development of extensive EDI resources for the U of T community and the implementation of concrete actions to better integrate EDI practices into research and innovation programs and the ISIs.   

Starting July 1, 2022, Professor Allen will begin a leave from the University of Toronto and Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy but will maintain her research program and supervision of trainees.  

We invite nominations of individuals to be considered as Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost, Strategic Initiatives, and encourage nominations of those who reflect the diversity of our community.  The Institutional Strategic Initiatives (ISI) portfolio was created to spearhead and facilitate interdisciplinary efforts that leverage the University’s strengths in areas of societal importance, ensuring that U of T remains a globally leading research institution. Following an initial focus on launching strategic, innovative cross-divisional research and training programs, the ISI portfolio will focus on the sustainability of initiatives that are already underway.  

Nominations are welcome by email to Stephannie Roy, Director, Strategic Engagement and Office of the Vice President (stephannie.roy@utoronto.ca) by June 1, 2022. Communications will be received in confidence. Interested individuals may self-nominate.