Following an extensive and highly competitive search, Dr. Charlotte Yates has been appointed as the ninth president and vice-chancellor of the University of Guelph. She is the first woman to hold the position in the University’s history. Her five-year term is effective immediately.
The appointment was approved by the University’s Board of Governors, on the recommendation of the Presidential Selection Committee, and announced today by Shauneen Bruder, chair of the Board of Governors.
“Dr. Yates is a proven and skilled leader who has demonstrated effectiveness during challenging and complex times, and who believes passionately in the vision and mission of the University of Guelph,” said Bruder, who chaired the Presidential Selection Committee.
In August 2020, Yates was appointed president on an interim basis following the conclusion of Franco Vaccarino’s term. She previously served as U of G’s provost and vice-president (academic).
“Dr. Yates has a unique skill set, having led efforts in academics, research, and equity, diversity and inclusion throughout her career,” Bruder said. During her tenure at U of G, Yates furthered and launched many critical institutional priorities, including Indigenization, strategic planning and external relations.
As interim president, she advanced these areas while also guiding the University through the COVID-19 pandemic and its many related challenges, Bruder said.
“U of G, like universities across Canada and around the world, has many challenges ahead as we look to sustain and enhance quality in an ever-changing educational landscape,” Bruder said.
“Dr. Yates’s knowledge of the University and broader sector will allow her to focus and act strategically on critical priorities. She is deeply committed to our students, staff and faculty and has a strong connection with the University’s external constituencies. Her experience, vision and dedication make her the right person to lead U of G during this pivotal time and into the future.”
An accomplished administrator, Yates previously served as dean of the faculty of social sciences at McMaster University where she was also a faculty member in the department of political science and labour studies program.
“It is an honour to lead a University that is helping build a better future for Canada and the world,” Yates said.
She added U of G has the research expertise and teaching innovations to tackle issues of global importance: food insecurity and health, restoring the environment, building robust relationships with Indigenous communities, combatting racism and more.
“Current global pressures remind us of the importance of scientific inquiry and vibrant, inclusive communities in preparing students to put knowledge into action and become engaged citizens,” Yates said.
“I am excited to advance the work currently underway to ensure that the University of Guelph continues its mission to Improve Life.”
A nationally recognized expert on labour issues and the Canadian automotive industry, Yates’ research and contributions have been recognized by leading academic organizations including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Industrial Relations Association. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Winnipeg, a master’s degree from Queen’s University and a PhD from Carleton University.
Outside of U of G, Yates currently serves as president and founding director of the Automotive Research Policy Centre, a non-profit research centre focused on policy research on the Canadian automotive industry, and as a member of the YWCA national Board of Directors. She was named among this year’s YMCA of Three Rivers Women of Distinction.