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Continuity and a commitment to success remain hallmarks of leadership transition at University of Guelph-Humber

June 26, 2020

It was announced in early May by University of Guelph President Franco Vaccarino and Chris Whitaker, president of Humber College that the duties of the vice-provost would be divided into two roles while a permanent replacement is found for the current Vice-Provost, Dr. John Walsh.

Dr. George Bragues, Guelph-Humber’s current assistant vice-provost and business program head, will serve as interim vice-provost. He will focus on enrolment management and learning and program innovation, especially in light of the challenges presented by COVID-19.

Brenda Whiteside, who was involved in the UofGH service reviews both during and after her career as University of Guelph’s associate vice-president (student affairs), will be the interim director of administration and student services. She will focus on implementing the results of the service reviews and updating agreements between the two parent institutions and help to manage operations.

Dr. John Walsh

Prior to his current position as UofGH’s Vice-Provost, Dr. Walsh served as the Dean of the Australian International Hotel School in Canberra. He served as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Management and Director of the School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management at the University of Guelph, leading the introduction of MBA and MA (Leadership) graduate programs. He has also acted as an advisor to the Minister of Advanced Education and Training in British Columbia and was acting President and acting Vice-President Academic during the creation of Royal Roads University.

"John has worked tirelessly throughout his time at the University of Guelph-Humber and made a positive impact on the University and its community," said University of Guelph Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dr. Charlotte Yates. "We are excited that John will be joining us at our Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics where students and faculty alike will benefit from his years of leadership and teaching experience."

"John has been a committed ambassador for the Guelph-Humber brand and strong advocate of the partnership between our two institutions," added Humber College Senior Vice-President, Academic, Laurie Rancourt. "John is well respected throughout Humber's senior leadership team. While we are sad to see him go, we want to wish John all the best as he returns to teaching."

“John will certainly be missed, not just for his wit, but also for his ability to navigate the changing academic landscape,” said Dr. George Bragues, a sentiment echoed by Ms. Whiteside.

“He has exhibited remarkable leadership having led the growth of existing programs, introduced new programs including full distance options for degree completion by working professionals, and expanded experiential workplace based education.”

Dr. Walsh expressed that he is excited about his new role ahead and the positive legacy he is leaving behind.

“I think what I am going to miss the most is my daily interaction with our amazing students as well as highly dedicated and professional instructors and staff,” reflects Dr. Walsh. “I am proud of everything that we have accomplished together over my time as vice-provost. I know that I am leaving the University of Guelph-Humber in very good hands and with some familiar faces that will ensure the continuity of our academic programs and success.”

Dr. George Bragues

Dr. George Bragues

Dr. Bragues has been the assistant vice-provost and program head of business at the University of Guelph-Humber since 2005. His writings have spanned the disciplines of business, economics, politics, and philosophy. Dr. Bragues has published op-ed pieces in Canada’s Financial Post and a wide variety of scholarly articles and reviews in journals such as The Journal of Business Ethics, Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, and The Independent Review.

Among his many published works include Cooperation and Excellence: A Premodern Case for Capitalism (Lexington Press, 2017) and Money, Markets, and Democracy: Politically Skewed Financial Markets and How to Fix Them (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

He has a BA and MA in Political Science from the University of Toronto and holds an MBA from Schulich School of Business (York U) as well as a PhD in Political Science from Boston College.

Quote – unquote
“I look forward to building upon University of Guelph-Humber’s commitment to academic programs that combine theory and practice. My vision is that we become renowned for creating graduates that are capable of both thinking deeply about their chosen disciplines and of translating their understanding into actions that enable them and their communities to flourish.”

Fun Fact
George loves e-sports and playing video games, with his current favorite game being FIFA 20.

Brenda Whiteside

Brenda Whiteside

Brenda Whiteside recently retired from the University of Guelph where her 35-year career spanned a number of positions including lecturer in the department of economics, program counsellor, secretary of senate, and vice-provost of student affairs, a position she held for 18 years. While at U of G she introduced many new programs in response to changing student demographics including the Aboriginal Resource Centre, the Office of Intercultural Affairs, and Accessibility Services.

She has a BA in business and a Masters in economics from the University of Guelph.

Quote – unquote
“I am excited to be supporting the University of Guelph-Humber during what looks to be a challenging year. It is an amazing place offering high quality and exciting programs. I hope that I can support the UofGH through continuing to build strong partnership with faculty, staff and students at both the U of G and Humber College. Working collaboratively we can leverage the expertise at both these organizations to further enrich the UofGH experience.”

Fun Fact
Brenda is known for her competitive spirit. She often played pick-up soccer or squash during her lunch break but always joined the men’s league as she felt playing at a higher level both pushed her personally but also helped to address misperceptions regarding female athleticism.