Vice-President Academic and Provost Dr. Julie McMullin began her new role at Mount Saint Vincent University on August 1, 2019, bringing with her a wealth of relevant experience from her former positions as a senior administrator, researcher and sociology professor at the University of Western Ontario. She also brings a deep-rooted sense of community, and a steadfast commitment to support and enrich academic pursuits and opportunities for all students.

“As a leader, I value social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion. I see these values at Mount Saint Vincent University and am very excited to be joining this community focused on academic excellence and student success,” she said

As Vice-President Academic and Provost, Julie will oversee all academic departments of the university, working closely with the Dean of Arts and Science, the Dean of Education, and the Dean of Professional and Graduate Studies. She is also the senior administrator responsible for Student Experience, Research, the Registrar’s Office, the MSVU Library, and the Teaching and Learning Centre and Online Learning (TLCOL).

Innovative senior administrator

At Western, Julie was the Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President (International) from 2012-2019. Prior to that, she was seconded as Special Advisor to the Provost on Internationalization. Previously, she served as acting Dean of the Faculty of Social Science and as Associate Dean, Research, in the Faculty of Social Science.

Through her work in these administrative positions, Julie gained a valuable range of administrative experiences including budget management, strategic planning, partnership development and relationship management, reputation building, advancement, program development, research funding, and human resources.

Under her leadership, Western University grew its population of international undergraduate students, developed or enhanced more than 30 programs for international student support and global learning, and significantly increased the number of study-abroad opportunities available for students.

Award-winning researcher

A PhD graduate from the University of Toronto (1996) with a master’s degree in sociology from Western, Julie is an award-winning researcher and sociologist who has published three books and many articles in high quality journals. Her research focuses on social inequality with a particular emphasis on the intersection of age, gender, class and ethnicity in the domains of paid work and families.

“My research has focused on issues related to older workers, structured ambivalence within families, childlessness, and income inequality in later life.”

As the lead on a major research project about workers in the IT sector, Julie’s team collected data from six countries.

“We assessed whether and how age, gender, and ethnicity influenced how work was structured and resultant discrimination,” she said. “Leading a group of 16 co-investigators and dozens of students from different disciplines across different countries was a remarkable experience. Besides the knowledge that we gained through the research, I learned a lot about leading and managing complex projects and the importance of excellent communication.”

Student-centered educator

Julie has been actively engaged in teaching and learning throughout her career as a sociology professor and affiliate member of the Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research at Western. At MSVU, she will be joining the Department of Family Studies and Gerontology.

“This is quite a unique department and because my substantive research interests align very nicely with that unit, I asked to have my academic appointment there.”

Julie has a student-centered approach to learning and applied this accessible style in the undergraduate and graduate courses that she developed at Western. She is committed to student success and has been part of creating innovative programs to address the challenges of poverty and mental health, including securing financial resources to support this approach.

“What I have loved most over the course of my career is exposing students to new ideas that are complex and trying to explain these ideas in ways that make sense to them,” she said. “One of the most gratifying things for me is when a student has that ‘aha’ moment; that brings me joy.”

Passionate community member

Julie says she learned the value of community growing up in a small town in southwestern Ontario. She also speaks of the intellectual community that emerges when an administrator can interact with students in a meaningful way.

“At MSVU, I felt this sense of community as soon as I walked on campus. I am a feminist and I value diversity, inclusion and accessibility. I feel very privileged to be able to serve a university community that values these things as much as I do.”

In the coming weeks and months, Julie says she plans to meet and talk with many members of the MSVU community – faculty, staff and students – to learn about opportunities, challenges and priorities.

“I want to listen and learn, and then as a community we can make decisions together about the opportunities we might want to pursue.”