Search begins for Wilson College director and endowed chair

A tree-lined path winding through McMaster campus in the fall.

The new academic leaders at Wilson College will develop further academic programming, build an equitable and diverse community of students and researchers, contribute to scholarship in civic studies and build McMaster’s reputation for research and teaching excellence.

A job search is now underway for an academic director and an endowed chair for McMaster’s new Wilson College of Leadership and Civic Engagement. Both tenured positions begin with a five-year term, projected to start on July 1, 2023.

Wilson College, which was established in September 2022 following a $50-million gift from Lynton “Red” Wilson, will be Canada’s most comprehensive leadership college, developing future leaders who will be equipped to address the country’s complex challenges.

Its programming, administered through the Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences, will feature a unique curriculum that emphasizes experiential learning, interdisciplinary work, civic engagement and research collaborations.

The college will offer Canada’s only Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Civic Studies, and will also offer an option for students in other programs to pursue a minor in the same subject. The minor will launch at the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic year, pending approval this spring, while the BA is slated to launch in 2025.

The College’s academic director will be responsible for developing further academic programming and building an equitable and diverse community of students and researchers. Among other duties, the Endowed Chair in Leadership and Civic Studies will contribute to scholarship in civic studies, helping to build McMaster’s reputation for research and teaching excellence.

“These two academic positions will be key figures in developing the next generation of changemakers – those who will eventually be found contributing to policy and public discourse for the benefit of society,” says David Farrar, McMaster’s president.

“We are looking forward to welcoming two innovative, creative individuals to help develop this unique community within McMaster.”

Wilson College will eventually be housed in its own building, which will give first-year students a unique living and learning experience. The building is slated to be complete in 2026.

In the next month, McMaster leadership will be meeting with key community and civic leaders on February 10 to solicit input about the role of the College and its approach to educating future leaders.

“There has been significant progress on a number of key areas related to the College, both within McMaster and with our community of potential stakeholders and partners,” says Jeremiah Hurley, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Pamela Swett, dean of the Faculty of Humanities, adds, “It’s exciting to see this ambitious project begin to take shape. We’re laying the groundwork so McMaster students will have even more opportunities to make meaningful contributions towards a more equitable and hopeful future.”