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Lisa Barnoff appointed dean, Faculty of Community Services

Director of School of Social Work brings a collaborative leadership style and a commitment to advocacy
Category:From the President
May 13, 2016
Lisa Barnoff

Photo: Lisa Barnoff appointed dean, Faculty of Community Services. Photo by Clifton Li. 

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Lisa Barnoff as dean of the Faculty of Community Services. The appointment is for a five-year term beginning September 1, 2016. 

For the past five years Lisa has been the director of the School of Social Work, where she has earned praise for her collaborative leadership style, ability to build diverse teams and undertake innovation. A natural consensus-builder, Lisa is a proven academic leader who has a demonstrated ability to nurture a culture of engagement and community. She brings to the role a career-long focus on social justice issues and a commitment to advocacy, in her scholarship as well as her university service.

Her tenure as director of the School of Social Work has been marked by achievement. Under Lisa’s leadership, the school developed and implemented a number of new and innovative initiatives, undertook substantial curriculum changes, created new admissions pathways to its programs, enhanced its partnership with the First Nations Technical Institute, developed an alumni association, created an anti-racism committee, significantly increased its profile and reputation, launched a successful fundraising campaign for a new, endowed student award and achieved full accreditation for its MSW program. This spring, Lisa was the recipient of the prestigious Usha George Faculty Recognition Award for her many accomplishments while in the role of director of the school.  

Lisa earned her PhD from the Faculty of Social Work and Graduate Collaborative program in Women’s Studies at the University of Toronto; her master’s from the Department of Sociology at U of T; and her bachelor’s in sociology from Trent University. She joined the School of Social Work as an assistant professor in 2003, was granted early tenure in 2006 and served a three-year term as the School’s Associate Director of Field Education before beginning her term as director in 2011. She served as an executive member of the Canadian Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work from 2012-2014.

Lisa’s areas of scholarly interest include anti-oppressive practices; equity, diversity and inclusion in relation to health and social service delivery models; organizational change; and social work education. She has successfully held a number of internal and external research grants. She was recently co-applicant on a study funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council exploring the impacts of new managerialism on social work education in Canada. Lisa has a strong record of publication which has focused primarily in the areas of community and anti-oppressive organizational practices and on organizational change. More recently, her scholarship is exploring current issues in higher education.

Lisa looks forward to working more closely with the excellent team of faculty, staff and student leaders within FCS to advance its goals as articulated in the academic plan. Key priorities include enhancing the profile of the faculty, fostering increased opportunities for student engagement and the development of new partnerships, programs and research opportunities.

Interim Provost and Vice-President Academic Chris Evans said: “Lisa has an excellent track record of incorporating the university’s strategic priorities into her school’s plans and activities. As the academic plan − Our Time to Lead − guides the future direction of the university, the Faculty of Community Services will be well positioned to continue its evolution and contribution to Ryerson.”

For the past 10 years the Faculty of Community Services has been led by Dean Usha George, a distinguished scholar and collaborative leader. I want to express my deep gratitude to Usha for her visionary and transformative leadership. She has built and maintained key strategic external partnerships, and fostered the advancement of scholarly and research activity, teaching excellence and student support within her faculty. Usha introduced the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative in the faculty and appointed the first John C. Eaton Chair in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She has played a key role in advancing Ryerson’s reputation as a comprehensive university, innovator and city builder.

Members of the search committee are listed below and I thank each of them for their willingness to serve. 

Cristina Catallo
Professor, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing

Kathryn Church
Director, School of Disability Studies

Charles Falzon
Dean, Faculty of Communication & Design

Lynn Lavallée
Professor, School of Social Work

Richard Meldrum
Professor, School of Occupational and Public Health

Jason Nolan
Professor, School of Early Childhood Studies

Melanie Panitch
Professor, School of Disability Studies

Marilyne Petitclerc
Student, Nutrition Communication

Don Rose
Director, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing

Please join me in wishing Lisa much success in her new role.

Mohamed Lachemi
President and Vice-Chancellor

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