Brock’s new Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies will be Michael Plyley, an accomplished researcher and administrator who has already spent a decade helping expand graduate activity at the University. The announcement was made today by Murray Knuttila, the University’s Provost and Vice-President, Academic.
He assumes his new duties July 1 when he takes over from Marilyn Rose, who completes a term she began in 2004. Rose led Brock through a period of exponential growth in graduate programs and enrollment. She will now begin an administrative leave in which she will undertake scholarly research in areas related to literary studies and higher education in Canada.
Plyley came to Brock in 2001 from the University of Toronto, recruited to help develop research and graduate studies. In 2008, he was instrumental in establishing the multi-disciplinary FAHS PhD program that spans three fields of study — behavioural and population health; health biosciences; and social and cultural health studies.
A biophysicist whose area of research concerns control of the adaptive response of the blood supply in skeletal muscle, Plyley (BSc ‘72 and PhD ‘77, University of Western Ontario) began his academic career in 1979 as an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Education at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. In 1980, he returned to Canada and over the ensuing 20 years held a succession of significant research and faculty posts at the University of Toronto.
At the time he came to Brock, he had been the U of T’s Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Research in the Faculty of Physical Education and Health. Following his arrival at Brock, he was asked to serve for six months as Acting Dean of FAHS, and has been the Associate Dean of FAHS Research and Graduate Studies for nine years.
His career to date includes nearly 100 articles in academic publications, and more than 150 abstracts and presentations at national and international conferences.
“We are extremely pleased with this succession,” said Knuttila. “Dean Rose during her term provided tremendous leadership that helped position Brock as a centre of research excellence. We are confident this trend will continue under Dr. Plyley.”