Wood to take over interim SGS role

Dr. Robert Wood (Department of Sociology) will serve as the interim head of the School of Graduate Studies while the University conducts a search for a permanent replacement for Dr. Jo-Anne Fiske.

Wood takes on the interim role, effective July 1, following Fiske, who resigned in May after a five-year term as dean.

"Dr. Fiske is stepping down for health-related reasons and will be commencing an administrative leave prior to returning to a faculty position within the women's studies department," says Dr. Andy Hakin, vice-president and provost.

"I would like to thank Dr. Fiske for her stewardship of the School of Graduate Studies and I wish her much success in her future endeavours."

Wood studies problem gambling in adults and youth and, among other topics, several types of youth subculture.

He is the author or co-author of two books and numerous research articles on gambling issues, and has recently produced a unique educational program on gambling reduction strategies for children with colleague Dr. Robert Williams (Faculty of Health Sciences, addictions counselling).

Wood joined the University of Lethbridge faculty in 2000 and is currently an associate professor of sociology. Hakin says a national search for the position of dean of Graduate Studies has been initiated, with the goal of making an appointment to commence January 1, 2011 or, at the latest, July 1, 2011.

"I am very pleased that (Dr. Wood) has chosen to take on the role of interim head of the School of Graduate Studies, and look forward to his leadership as we move the school through this time of transition," says Hakin. "Our community has identified the growth of graduate opportunities at the University of Lethbridge as a key strategic direction within the 2009-13 Strategic Plan and we are not losing sight of that important decision."

Hakin adds that with Wood's interim appointment, and a new administrative structure in place that involves a number of faculty members from all areas of campus to guide the School of Graduate studies in an advisory capacity, the daily and future operations of SGS are assured while a search begins for a new dean.