UPEI announces seventh President and Vice-Chancellor

Dr. Wendy Rodgers brings years of experience in teaching, research, and administration to the role
| University
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Dr. Wendy Rodgers will be UPEI's seventh President and Vice-Chancellor

The University of Prince Edward Island Board of Governors announced today that Dr. Wendy Rodgers has been appointed as the seventh President and Vice-Chancellor after a comprehensive 12-month search. Dr. Rodgers will assume the role—which provides strategic vision and leadership for all academic, administrative, financial, and service operations at UPEI—on June 1, 2024.

The chair of the Board, Shannon MacDonald, who also chaired the Presidential Search Committee, expressed her confidence in Dr. Rodgers’ appointment.

“We sought a leader who truly understands what it takes to lead UPEI at this pivotal time in our University’s history. We were very impressed with the quality of candidates and the amount of interest in this important leadership role.

“We unanimously chose Dr. Rodgers as she brings extensive credentials that reflect UPEI’s mission and values as well as a deep understanding of workplace fairness and respectful environments. We are confident that this will position her well to lead the execution of the UPEI Action Plan, shape the development of the University’s next strategic plan, and build upon UPEI’s successes, propelling our provincial university into the future.”

The Presidential Search Committee, which included six members appointed by the Board and six members appointed by the Senate, was thoroughly impressed by Dr. Rodgers’ experience as an academic, researcher, and administrator. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from York University, Master of Arts from Western University, and PhD in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo. She began her post-secondary education career as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor before moving to the University of Alberta, where she was a full professor and high-achieving researcher for almost 20 years.

After serving in a number of administrative and governance roles at the University of Alberta, Dr. Rodgers was most recently the Vice-President Academic and Provost at the University of Northern British Columbia where she led the implementation of numerous academic priorities.

“Dr. Rodgers’ dedication to scholarly excellence, robust governance, and equity, diversity, inclusion (EDI), and Indigenization, combined with an authentic and strategic leadership style marked by integrity and openness, has helped her to realize institutional goals in her past roles,” added Ms. MacDonald. “We are thrilled to welcome her to UPEI.”

Dr. Rodgers has a deep commitment to EDI and Indigenization in post-secondary education. Over her career, she has led institutional initiatives in these areas as well as issues management, faculty workload and evaluation, and oversight and leadership of the academic mission. Dr. Rodgers has also been active in research ethics review and related administration. In 2023, she was named chair of the Council of Canadian Academies’ multidisciplinary expert panel to examine best practices for EDI in the post-secondary research ecosystem. Read Dr. Rodgers' full biography

Only the second woman to hold the position of President and Vice-Chancellor at UPEI, Dr. Rodgers is excited at the prospect of this new opportunity.

“The University of Prince Edward Island is an amazing institution of higher learning with a vibrant and resilient community of students, staff, and faculty,” she said. “I am honoured to serve as UPEI’s seventh president at this important time of cultural change and thank the Board of Governors for placing their confidence in me. I look forward to ushering the University forward as we address challenges and seize strategic opportunities so that we can continue making a difference in the province, region, country, and beyond. I am excited to move to PEI; live and work in Epekwitk, the territory of the Mi’kmaq; and be a part of UPEI’s future.”

“I am extremely pleased with the selection of Dr. Rodgers as UPEI’s next president,” said Dr. Greg Keefe, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, who will continue in the post until Dr. Rodgers’ arrival and will remain as an advisor during the transition. “Dr. Rodgers’ blend of academic experience, administrative acumen, and passion for creating healthy, inclusive, and respectful environments aligns perfectly with UPEI’s ambitious vision and plan to change the campus culture. I look forward to supporting her as she begins her role.”

The presidential search for UPEI’s seventh president and vice-chancellor began in May 2023 and included phases for planning, consultation, candidate search and assessment, interview, and announcement. During the consultation phase, the search committee offered several ways for members of the University and broader community to provide input to develop the candidate profile. During the interview phase, current students, staff, and faculty had the opportunity to meet finalist candidates at “fireside chats."

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