Campus Life

Dr. Erasmus Okine appointed as Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

The University of Lethbridge is drawing from internal strength to fill the role of University Provost and Vice-President (Academic), naming Dr. Erasmus Okine, on an interim basis, to the position. Okine will commence his interim appointment immediately and serve until June 30, 2023. The University of Lethbridge faces a period of unprecedented challenges within the context of the Alberta economy, COVID-19 and the world economy. Okine will provide critical academic leadership during this time.

Okine came to the University of Lethbridge in 2015 as the Vice-President (Research) and was renewed for a second term in that position in April 2019. He was recently serving as Interim Provost and VPA in addition to his duties as Vice-President (Research).

“Dr. Okine has excelled in his role as Vice-President (Research) and we’re excited to be able to draw upon that success and appoint him to this new role,” says Dr. Mike Mahon, U of L president and vice-chancellor. “He is an excellent relationship builder and has established a very good rapport with our faculty members. His understanding of the academic culture at the University, commitment to a student-first approach and ability to see the broad picture moving forward gives me great confidence that he will make this role his own and continue to provide outstanding leadership to the U of L.”

Throughout Okine’s tenure as VPR, the University’s research footprint continues to grow and he has been successful in increasing the number of research partnerships from industry, non-governmental organizations, government agencies and other universities by about 60 per cent.

“I am very excited to take on this new challenge and the opportunities it allows me to further contribute to the academic experience of our students,” says Okine. “We have a very unique culture here at the U of L that fosters collaboration on so many levels, between students and faculty members, from department to department, and externally to all of our community stakeholders and industry partners. I look forward to seeing what can be achieved in the coming years and how we can continue to strengthen our communities.”

Okine, a native of Ghana, completed a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science at the University of Ghana before coming to Alberta to complete a PhD at the University of Alberta. Okine has been navigating international research opportunities through his research program, focusing on the impact and mitigation of greenhouse gases and increasing the efficiency and productivity of livestock. His leadership skills have helped international scientists improve the fatty acid profile of beef and milk and helped develop an innovative nutrition tool to reduce methane emissions from cattle. He is a member of the Alberta Research and Innovation Advisory Committee, which provides strategic advice and recommendations research and innovation to the Government of Alberta.

For his leadership in agricultural research, Okine has received a number of awards during his career, including the Alberta Premier’s Silver Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research, being named a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Animal Science and a Fellow of the International College of Nutrition.

Okine is assuming the role vacated by Dr. Andrew Hakin, who left in January to become President of St. Francis Xavier University. A further announcement will be made in the near future regarding the position of Vice-President (Research).