Professor Rebecca Raby, in the Department of Child and Youth Studies, has been appointed as Interim Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences, effective Jan. 1.
The appointment follows the secondment of Associate Dean Kate Bezanson to the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada earlier this fall.
FOSS Associate Dean, Graduate Studies and Research Dawn Zinga has been Acting Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies during the Fall Term. She will hand the reins to Raby after the holidays.
Dean Ingrid Makus is thrilled to welcome Raby to the Dean’s Office.
“Dr. Raby has shown impressive leadership and involvement in the Faculty and across the University for many years, and we are delighted that she will now be bringing her experience, dedication and insight to this role,” says Makus.
Raby’s extensive leadership experience includes having served most recently as the Director of the Social Justice Research Institute (SJRI) from 2018 to 2022, a body she helped to create.
“As a director of the SJRI, I got to meet a lot of people from around the University and in the community,” says Raby. “That position has given me insight into some of the ways the University works and some of the possibilities there, so I’m looking forward to learning a lot more about administration in the Faculty of Social Sciences and what I can do in my new role to support students and faculty.”
Raby says she is preparing for a “huge learning curve” but also looking forward to finding ways to support and enhance opportunities for undergraduate students to succeed from the moment they choose to study in the social sciences and beyond.
“Recruitment is a big part of the role, and it’s exciting to meet new incoming students or prospective students, to talk to them about the great things that we have to offer, and to engage with their enthusiasm and answer their questions,” she says. “I’ll also be thinking a lot about how to communicate what we have to offer and how best to champion our programs and departments when consulting with prospective students and their parents.”
Another key responsibility of the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies is supporting students in their efforts to maintain academic integrity. Raby, who served as her department’s Chair from 2012 to 2015, is familiar with the challenges students face in this regard.
“I will be reinforcing the importance of academic integrity and, after I’ve learned more, I hope I might be able to bring some additional ideas on how to prevent misconduct,” says Raby. “I have experience with the issue from my time as Chair, and I know that it’s a very upsetting process when a student gets called in for academic misconduct — so preferably, I’d like to try to think about ways to avoid it.”
Overall, Raby says she hopes to make a lasting contribution to the Faculty community through her work as Associate Dean, a responsibility she takes seriously.
“I think it’s really important to learn the ropes first, but I do feel that there is space even in an interim position for some potential visioning,” she says. “In the past and in other roles, I’ve tried to tackle problems by looking at other vantage points, and I think that some of my visioning will resonate well with what is already happening in the Faculty. It’s exciting to be able to potentially shape processes that have really profound, positive effects on students’ lives.”