Lakehead University

Lakehead University

May 10, 2011 13:00 ET

Lakehead University Announces New Provost and Vice President Academic

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 10, 2011) - Lakehead University is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Rod Hanley to the position of Provost and Vice President (Academic). The appointment comes after an extensive search over eight months. In his new position, Dr. Hanley will have overall responsibility for the academic plan and quality assurance at Lakehead University.

Dr. Hanley comes to Lakehead from the University of Winnipeg, where he has served as Dean of Science since August 2008. He has a robust science background and experience as a faculty member, researcher, and administrative leader.

As the University of Winnipeg's Dean of Science and Professor of Biology, Dr. Rodney Hanley oversaw the conceptualization and development of many new areas and specialties during a comprehensive academic renewal process. In addition, Dr. Hanley participated in the planning and development of the $70 million-Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex located in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. This LEED-certified educational facility will house the departments of Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Studies, and incorporate a sustainability think-tank of faculty and staff, a centre for science commercialization and incubation, and a major telepresence suite in partnership with CISCO Systems Inc.

Dr. Hanley has built bridges between academia and business. He is founding partner and board member of the Prairie Isotope Production Enterprise (PIPE), a non-profit corporation that brings together the University of Winnipeg, private industry, and Manitoba medical services to safely produce medical isotopes in response to the severe North American supply shortage. Dr. Hanley is also a founding partner in a biotech company linked to the University of Winnipeg and the Fisher River Cree Nation. The company produces and markets value-added fishery bioproducts including certified organic fertilizers and composts produced from fishery waste and rough fish. This project is the start of a new environmentally friendly Manitoba industry that has the potential to employ hundreds of primarily Aboriginal fishers.

Dr. Hanley has a strong record of accomplishment in academia. At the University of North Dakota, he served as professor and chair of the multidisciplinary Department of Earth System Science and Policy (ESSP) and senior researcher in the Northern Great Plains Center for People and the Environment. He holds degrees from Eastern Illinois University (B.S. and M.S., Environmental Science) and the University of Kansas (Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), where he graduated with honours. Dr. Hanley has over 90 peer-reviewed publications and professional presentations and has obtained over $91.5 million in research grants, fundraising awards, and donations.

An award-winning instructor, Dr. Hanley has taught entomology, environmental science, biology, and biogeography courses. Recently, he developed a new Forensic Entomology course as part of an intensive week-long program designed to introduce high-school students to the university. Dr. Hanley has conducted extensive fieldwork supporting his research throughout North America and remote areas of Central and South America.

Dr. Hanley's non-professional interests include community service, music, outdoor activities, and woodworking. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Manitoba Opera, which is the only full-time Canadian opera company between Toronto and Vancouver. He loves classical, opera, and jazz music. Rod also enjoys many outdoor activities, especially golf, camping, and hiking. He maintains a woodworking shop and likes to build furniture and architectural wood mouldings for historic homes. Sara Gunhus-Hanley, Dr. Hanley's spouse and an accountant, grew up in Moorhead, Minnesota, and visited Thunder Bay many times as a child with her family.

Dr. Brian J.R. Stevenson, President, Lakehead University says, "I am delighted to welcome Dr. Hanley to Lakehead University. Dr. Hanley brings a distinguished research career, significant administrative experience, and internationally respected credentials to Lakehead University. With his enthusiasm and demonstrated leadership skills, I am convinced that the Provost and Vice President Academic's office will flourish under his leadership."

"My family and I are very much looking forward to becoming part of Lakehead University and the Thunder Bay community," says Dr. Hanley. "Lakehead University has an excellent reputation and I hope to become an integral part of helping the University achieve its goals for growth and quality enhancement."

Dr. Rod Hanley's appointment to the position of Provost and Vice President (Academic), effective August 2011, follows a careful, considered process within the University community.

About Lakehead

With over 8,280 students and 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Thunder Bay and Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation forits multidisciplinary teaching approach that emphasizes collaborative learning and independent critical thinking.Lakehead faculty are involved in innovative research that supports local and regional socio-economic needs. Thunder Bay is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In Orillia, development continueson building a campus that meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED(R)) standards. For more information about Lakehead University, visit

Contact Information

  • Dr. Hanley is available for interview.
    To schedule, please contact
    Janine Chiasson
    Communications Officer