Brock University’s Vice-President of Research, Gary Libben, is pleased to announce the appointments of Joffre Mercier and Kevin Kee as the new associate vice-presidents of research.
Mercier is currently Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Mathematics and Science. He first joined Brock in 1988 as a sessional instructor from his post-doctoral position at the University of Toronto.
A biology professor, he has occupied a number of offices throughout the years, including chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, Director of the Centre for Neuroscience, and Interim Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Science.
Kee is the Canada Research Chair in Digital Humanities, director of the Centre for Digital Humanities and associate professor in the Department of History and the Centre for Digital Humanities.
Kee came to Brock in 2005 from McGill University where he was assistant professor in the departments of History and Integrated Studies in Education, as well as Director of Undergraduate Programs for Integrated Studies. Before McGill, he was a director and project director at the National Film Board of Canada.
“Both Kevin and Joffre are known across campus for their intellectual leadership, their creativity, their generosity in helping and supporting colleagues, and their commitment to advancing the culture of research leadership at Brock,” says Libben. He added that he and the staff at Office of Research Services “are delighted that they will be joining the team and leading exciting new initiatives.”
Libben says the new Associate Vice-Presidents’ main role is to advance the work of researchers and to help them find new sources of support.
“Both will play key roles in strategic matters and initiatives to advance our research mission as an institution,” Libben says.
Mercier’s areas of primary responsibility will be the natural and health sciences. Kee’s area of primary responsibility will be the social sciences and humanities.
“The appointments of Prof. Kee and Prof. Mercier represent a milestone in our development as a university and as a research community,” Libben says.
Mercier says his priorities include streamlining the reporting structure that regulates safety policies and procedures in laboratories and other research areas.
He is also keen to tap into his experience with funding agencies, particularly the government’s FedDev and NSERC programs, to help researchers improve success with NSERC and to help those wishing to collaborate with businesses to get funding for their research.
“We have a lot of faculty members who are taking advantage of those things now, so it’s very clear that there’s an interest here at Brock,” Mercier says. “We’ve had a lot of inquiry from businesses over the last couple of years, so it’s clear that there’s a need in the region.”
Kee says his first priority is to work with researchers throughout the University to articulate Brock’s strategic research plan. His longer-term goal is to build research excellence at Brock.
“It’s a kind of motherhood statement that will include support and enrichment of faculty, their research partners, and their work,” Kee says. “It will involve finding new ways to cultivate inter-disciplinarity across and among researchers, new opportunities for research funding and involve thinking about our research output in different ways.”
Kee says he will draw upon his technology expertise to share visions of what research will look like in 2020, including the importance of new forms of scholarly communication, such as blogging and tweeting research, in addition to publishing in high-level journals.
“I think that Brock is really well-positioned to take advantage of some of these changes,” he says. “We’re nimble, we move quickly, and we’re willing to take risks.”
Mercier starts his position April 1, 2013, while Kee starts on March 1, 2013.