McGill appoints three senior leaders

One has a secret love of chocolate-covered almonds, another is/was a lifelong Montreal Expos fan and a third is a McGill grad who recently spent time in Tanzania. Say hello to McGill’s newest senior administrators.
Michael Di Grappa, McGill’s new Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance). / Photo courtesy of Concordia University.

New VPs, Dean of Libraries named

By McGill Reporter Staff

One has a secret love of chocolate-covered almonds, another is/was a lifelong Montreal Expos fan and a third is a McGill grad who recently spent time in Tanzania.

Say hello to McGill’s newest senior administrators.

Last week, the University’s Board of Governors approved the appointments of three highly experienced executives to fill vacancies in the senior team.

In alphabetical order, the appointees are: Colleen Cook, who has been named the Trenholme Dean of Libraries; Michael Di Grappa, the University’s new Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance); and Rose Goldstein, who will become McGill’s next Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations).

Principal Heather Munroe-Blum said she was “delighted to welcome these talented and experienced leaders to McGill, noting they are all well-respected in their fields and will bring new energy, perspectives and distinctive contributions to the University’s leadership team.

“Universities are institutions that require continual renewal and refreshment to remain vigorous and forward-thinking in their approaches to research, teaching and scholarship,” Munroe-Blum said. “These new members of our executive team will help sustain and develop McGill’s standing as one of the world’s leading institutions of higher learning, research and innovation, locally, nationally and internationally.”

Coleen Cook

Colleen Cook comes to McGill from Texas A&M University, where she is Dean of Libraries and holder of the Sterling C. Evans Endowed Chair.

She’s looking forward to making a big move from the state where she’s spent her academic life.

Why Montreal and McGill, she was asked. “Look around you. You are in one of the world’s great cities and McGill is one of the world’s top 20 universities. What’s not to like?”

Cook helped develop and promote LibQUAL+®, the premier assessment tool for measuring library service quality internationally. She earned her PhD in Higher Education Administration at Texas A&M and holds BA and MLS degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA from Texas A&M University.

On coming to McGill, where she will take up duties at the beginning of January, and expects to spend a lot of time listening and working with her new colleagues. The goal, she said, is to build great collections, enhance physical facilities and explore possibilities with open access policies.

Michael Di Grappa, who will begin his Administration and Finance duties Nov. 15, is a native Montrealer and a veteran of Concordia University’s senior administration, where he has served as Vice-President, Services, since March 2000. A 1984 graduate of Concordia’s School of Community and Public Affairs (BA Honours Political Science), Di Grappa went on to complete a Master’s of Public Policy and Administration at New York’s Columbia University and the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. His Concordia career began in 1986 as Assistant to the Office of the Rector. As Vice-President, Services, he has overseen Concordia’s $500-million construction program and brought together numerous strategic units into an effective business operation. He also served as the University’s Interim President from November 2007 to July 2008.

“This position at McGill provides me a wonderful opportunity to remain in Montreal, which is very important to me and my family, and to remain in the university sector in which I have spent my entire career,” Di Grappa said. “McGill is a world-class institution facing many complex challenges (e.g. government funding, deferred maintenance, to name just two) and opportunities. I am delighted and privileged to be joining the University and Principal Munroe-Blum’s leadership team to help contribute, in some small way, to tackling these challenges and to McGill’s continued success.”

Having spent 25 years at one university, Di Grappa said he is well aware that what worked at one institution may not necessarily work at another. He wants to be able to combine a period of getting to know what sets McGill apart at the same time as he hits the ground running on key dossiers that are already demanding his attention.

Rose Goldstein

Rose Goldstein is coming back to McGill. Currently Vice-President (Research) at the University of Calgary, a post she has held since July 1, 2007, Goldstein received her Bachelor of Science from McGill in 1975 as well as her 1979 medical degree. She trained in Internal Medicine at the Universities of Toronto and Ottawa and completed her training in Rheumatology at the University of Ottawa and the University of Texas at Houston. From 2003 to 2007, Goldstein served as Vice-Dean, Academic Affairs, in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. In 2001, Goldstein became the founding director of the Ottawa Academic Health Sciences Leadership Program. She will begin her duties as McGill’s Vice-Principal of Research and International Relations at the beginning of December.

“My roots are at McGill and in Montreal,” Goldstein said. “I have been very much influenced by my seven formative years as a student here. The values on which I have based my deeply satisfying academic career are founded in McGill’s values – and draw me naturally back to McGill [which is] a great university – and research and international relations is the best portfolio in the top research intensive and most international post-secondary institution in Canada.”

Goldstein, who is looking forward to living again in a bilingual environment, anticipates spending an initial period getting up to speed with McGill’s research projects and status, but anticipates tacking some substantive issues in the near future, including a refreshed Strategic Research Plan, based on a consultative process; ensuring “best practices” and client/researcher-focused, service-oriented research support, business operations, commercialization and international administration; an assessment of McGill’s strategic research partnership strategy; and an assessment of research communications strategy.

In a message to the McGill community, Munroe-Blum warmly thanked those who had filled these posts on an interim basis, including Michael Richards (administration and finance), Diane Koen (libraries) and Rima Rozen (research and international relations). Richards, who is a member of the Board of Governors, returns to his work as a senior counsel at Stikeman Elliott. Koen will return to her post of Associate Director of Libraries (planning and resources), while Rozen will resume her Associate Vice-Principalship in Research and International Relations.

As for who loves the almonds, the Expos and working in Tanzania, that will have to wait for in-depth interviews The Reporter will conduct with each new arrival in the months ahead.