The University of Windsor’s Board of Governors announced Friday the appointment of Robert Gordon as seventh President and Vice-Chancellor, following a rigorous search led by a committee that included Senate and Board of Governors representation. Dr. Gordon’s appointment is effective September 1, and follows the retirement of President Alan Wildeman June 30, 2018. Douglas Kneale has served as Interim President during the past year.
Gordon, currently Provost and Vice-President Academic at Wilfrid Laurier University, had previously served as the university’s Vice-President, Research. He is a renowned authority on environmental issues and agricultural engineering in Canada, having held a Canada Research Chair in the area of environmental resource management. Gordon has a proven background as a research champion, and will bring strengths in promoting research excellence, while integrating teaching and community engagement to the University of Windsor.
“Dr. Gordon is an exceptional leader who will make an outstanding President for the University of Windsor. He is a respected scholar, experienced strategic administrator, and accomplished innovator,” said Board of Governors chair William Willis.
“His vision and energy, and his effective and strong collaborative leadership skills make him the ideal President to lead the University, build on its recent successes, and deliver continuing high-quality student, faculty, and staff experiences.”
Gordon earned bachelor and master’s degrees in engineering from McGill University, and a PhD in Land Resource Science from the University of Guelph. He served in various academic and administrative capacities, including as dean of research at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College — now the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University, and headed the environmental management section of the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, where he administered the Nova Scotia Environmental Farm Plan Program on behalf of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture; the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture; and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. He also served as an extension specialist through the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the University of Windsor family and look forward to working with our exceptional students, faculty, staff, alumni, and partners in building on the commitment to excellence that exists throughout our incredible institution,” said Gordon.
Before joining Laurier, Gordon was dean of the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph, where he led the largest agriculture and food faculty in Canada. Under his leadership, the college ranked internationally among the top 10 institutions in agriculture and food research impact.
During his tenure at Laurier, the university was first among Canadian universities in research efficiency, and second in relative research funding growth.
Throughout his leadership roles, Gordon has also maintained a strong research profile. He has published more than 160 refereed journal articles, and has supervised more than 50 graduate students, and eight post-doctoral fellows over his career.
Gordon is planning to meet with the University of Windsor campus community in the near future.