Brock has reached across the country to fill one of its most important senior positions.
Gary Libben, a scholar and academic administrator who is a leader in advancing interdisciplinary research, will move to Niagara this summer to become Brock’s new Vice-President Research.
Libben, who is currently Associate Vice-President (Research) at the University of Calgary, will assume his new position on Aug. 1. He will replace Ian Brindle, who is stepping down.
The announcement was made by President Jack Lightstone, who said Brock is extremely pleased to have someone of Libben’s calibre to fill big shoes left by Brindle.
“Strong leadership over the sphere of research is important to our future growth,” said Lightstone, “and Dr. Libben’s ability to expand activity and opportunity through interdisciplinary research bodes well for the University.”
Libben’s key role will be to advance the intensity of research at Brock, and its impact not only in the academic world but in local communities, Lightstone said.
“He will ensure that the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex accelerates Brock’s transformation as a research-intensive university that values innovation, commercialization and knowledge transfer to all undergraduate and graduate teaching.”
A psycholinguist who studies how words are represented and processed in the mind, Libben was named in 2008 as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is a former President of the Canadian Linguistics Association, co-founder of The Mental Lexicon Journal, and was a founding director of the University of Alberta’s Centre for Comparative Psycholinguistics. He has also been director of Words in the Mind, Words in the Brain, a Major Collaborative Research Initiative Project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Libben’s international experience includes visiting professorships in Austria and the Netherlands.
Before joining the University of Calgary in 2009, Libben (BA Psychology ‘76, Concordia University; MA Applied Linguistics ‘82, Concordia University; PhD Linguistics ‘87, McGill University) was at the University of Alberta from 1992 to 2008, where he was a professor of Linguistics. He also served as Associate Dean of Arts (Research) and chair of the Department of Linguistics.
He began his academic teaching career at the University of Calgary from 1986 to 1992 as an assistant professor and graduate program director for the Department of Linguistics.
In making the announcement, Lightstone said Brindle will remain in the Office of Research Services for five months to help his successor transition into the senior position.
“Dr. Brindle’s perseverance and passion have been instrumental in helping Brock become a recognized centre of research. Ian’s legacy cannot be overstated, and his work has been crucial in helping Brock secure the world-class Cairns Complex. This is a thank-you, but by no means a goodbye, I am happy to say.”