Following a highly competitive search process, Robert Aguirre will take up an appointment as provost and vice-president, academic, effective July 17.
Reporting to the president, Dr. Aguirre will be the University’s chief academic leader, providing direction and vision for its academic planning and administration. With oversight that includes student experience, faculty relations and support, continuing education, information and learning technologies, library services, strategic enrolment management, academic accountability, and international development, Aguirre will enhance the University’s academic mission, inspiring academic excellence and empowering positive change through regionally and globally engaged inquiry, learning, scholarship, creative activity, and research.
Aguirre (PhD, Harvard) comes to the University of Windsor from James Madison University in Virginia, a public, research-intensive university of 22,000 students where he has served as professor of English and dean of the College of Arts and Letters since 2018. Between 1997 and 2018, he was a faculty member at Wayne State University in Detroit, serving for six years as associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
An interdisciplinary scholar of literary transnationalism with a special focus on the Atlantic world, Aguirre is the author of Informal Empire and Mobility and Modernity, as well as many articles on material and visual culture, museum studies, travel and transport, and Latinx literature. His work has been supported by year-long research fellowships at the University of Michigan and Brown University.
At James Madison University, he introduced the model of cohort hiring to the academic affairs division, increased funding and infrastructure for research in arts and letters, established the office of student professional development, and increased the number and scope of centres and institutes.
Aguirre takes on the role following a two-year interim term from Patti Weir. President Robert Gordon says he is pleased to welcome Aguirre back to the Windsor-Essex region and thanks Dr. Weir for her years of leadership and dedication to the role.
“Dr. Aguirre’s commitment to diversity and inclusion initiatives on US campuses will translate well to the Canadian context,” Dr. Gordon said. “With an impressive administrative and scholarly career, Dr. Aguirre’s experience will build on the strong foundation that Dr. Weir established.”
Aguirre said he is looking forward to playing a central role in defining the University of Windsor’s academic directions.
“I am honored to serve the University of Windsor community at this exciting, forward-looking moment,” he said. “Over these past months, I have been deeply impressed by the University’s aspirations to be a leader in research and teaching excellence, to embrace innovation for the public good, to be an anchor institution in the Windsor-Essex region, and to create an inclusive community of deep belonging and common cause. I am excited to work with university and community partners to carry on this important work.”