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Lesley Rigg appointed for five-year term as dean of science

Message to the campus community from Provost Dru Marshall
February 12, 2015

Lesley Rigg will begin her five-year term as the dean of the Faculty of Science on July 1, 2015.

I am pleased to announce that Lesley Rigg has been appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Calgary for a five-year term effective July 1, 2015.

Rigg is an internationally recognized scholar with more than 18 years of experience working in postsecondary education. In her current role as vice-president for research and innovation partnerships (VPR) at Northern Illinois University (NIU), Rigg is responsible for the research mission of the university which includes maintaining dynamic research programs, partnering with federal laboratories, and supporting the commercialization of scientific inventions. She is the president of the Northern Illinois Research Foundation, the mandate of which is to advance the educational research, public service and economic development mission of NIU.

In her previous role as associate dean for research and graduate affairs at NIU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Rigg was responsible for budgeting, supporting graduate research programming and facilitating international faculty research. Rigg is also a mentor to many undergraduate and graduate students and believes that growing and encouraging a cohort of young researchers is critical to strengthening any university. 

Rigg earned a bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental studies from York University, a master’s degree in geography from the University of Colorado and a doctorate degree in geography and environmental studies from the University of Melbourne in Australia. She has written and contributed to dozens of peer-reviewed journals, facilitated international workshops, and participated in a variety of panels. Rigg is a former member of the National Committee on the Status of Women in Geography of the Association of American Geographers. In 2014, Rigg received an honorable mention for NIU’s Women Who Make a Difference Award and in 2009, won the Wilma D. Stricklin Award for enhancing the climate on campus for women. Her research interests include biogeography with an emphasis on forest ecosystems and vegetation dynamics.

As dean, Rigg will be a passionate advocate for the Faculty of Science and for science more generally, will champion all science-related research, and will ensure the continuous improvement of an exceptional learning experience for undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the Faculty of Science. She will also champion a strategic direction for the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Science that aligns with the university’s Eyes High vision to become one of Canada’s top five research universities by our fiftieth anniversary in 2016.

I would like to thank the members of the Advisory Decanal Selection Committee for undertaking the extensive consultation process. They were: Andre Buret, vice-president (research) representative; Eric Donovan, Faculty of Science tenured academic staff representative; Dave Hansen, Faculty of Science tenured academic staff representative; Marie Fraser, Faculty of Science tenured academic staff representative; Robert Woodrow, Faculty of Science tenured academic staff representative; Lorraine Doepel, GFC representative; Walter Herzog, GFC representative; Penny Werthner, decanal representative; Barb McCuthcheon, AUPE representative; Jeff Bowes, MaPS representative; Taylor Woo, SU representative; Sarah Akierman, GSA representative; John Baker, faculty association representative and Rick Warters, external representative.

I would also like to thank Ken Barker for his many contributions to the faculty and the broader university community as Dean of Science. Ken is a dedicated, committed and passionate advocate for the Faculty. Under his leadership, significant progress has been made in the faculty, including important work on fiscal management and the opening of the innovative Undergraduate Science Centre in 2014. He has also spearheaded an increased focus on teaching and learning across the faculty, fostering an environment for many teaching and learning opportunities.

Please join me in welcoming Lesley Rigg as our new Dean of Science. 


Dru Marshall

Provost and Vice-President (Academic)