After being an integral member of the University community for many years, Interim Vice-Provost (Student Affairs) Irene Thompson is retiring from U of G as of May 11, 2024, with her last day of work as Friday, March 28.  

Irene Thompson poses for a headshot. She has short dark red hair parted to the side and is wearing a long silver necklace with a sleeveless blue top.
Irene Thompson

Irene’s journey at U of G began in 1983 when she started working in Residence Life. With an aptitude for supporting students, she then advanced through Student Housing to leadership positions and became Director of Student Housing Services for 13 years.  

“Irene has had such an incredibly positive impact on our students and our campus,” said Gwen Chapman, Provost and Vice-President (Academic). “Rooted in her belief in the power of kindness, integrity, and inclusivity, Irene has long been a strong advocate for supporting the whole student and providing mental health and wellness support. Under her direction, Student Affairs has taken significant steps to further improve our distinctive student experience.” 

Although Irene is moving on, she is leaving behind a legacy of impact for students, staff and the University. In her role as Interim Vice-Provost (Student Affairs), she has been instrumental in addressing student conduct campus-wide and handling human rights and students at risk cases, as well as a champion of promoting student voices through initiatives like Student Leaders and Admin Meetings (SLAM) and the Student Budget Committee. In additional service to the University, Irene served two terms on the U of G Board of Governors as elected staff representative; held several roles, including President, in the Professional Staff Association; and co-chaired the University United Way campaign for four years. 

Beyond U of G, Irene has contributed significantly to the broader community. As President and Secretary of the Ontario Association of College and University Housing Officers (OACUHO), she founded the OACUHO New Professionals Training Institute, Scholar in Residence, and Internship programs and created a strategic plan. Irene currently is Vice-President of Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Waterloo Wellington and has served the United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin Board of Directors and various sub-committees for many years. 

As announced in December, Dr. Melinda Scott will serve as the new Vice-Provost (Student Affairs) beginning Monday, March 18 to provide a two-week transition period. 

Please join us on Wednesday, March 27 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Brass Taps to celebrate Irene and offer best wishes as she retires and embarks on this new chapter. All are welcome to this drop-in event.