March 28, 2024

Tara Beattie appointed vice-provost and dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies

A message from Penny Werthner, interim provost and vice-president (academic)
A woman with short brown haird and glasses smiles at the camera

It is my great pleasure to announce that Dr. Tara Beattie has been appointed vice-provost and dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. She will begin her five-year term April 1, 2024.

Currently, Dr. Beattie is serving as interim vice-provost and dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Calgary, a position she has held since September 2023. A full professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Oncology at the Cumming School of Medicine, Dr. Beattie previously held the role of associate dean in Graduate Science Education at UCalgary, while serving as vice-president of research for the Association of the Faculties of Medicine Canada.

A committed triathlete who completed the Ironman World Championships in Kona Hawaii on Oct. 14, 2023, Tara obtained her PhD from the University of Toronto in 1997 and completed postdoctoral training at the Ontario Cancer Institute from 1997 to 2000, at which point she joined UCalgary’s Cumming School of Medicine as an independent investigator.

A member of UCalgary’s Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Tara’s primary research focuses on the DNA–protein structures known as telomeres, including telomere integrity and the enzyme telomerase as a critical factor in genomic stability and the progression of age-related diseases. 

Since joining the University of Calgary, Dr. Beattie has made significant contributions to the educational mission of both her faculty and university, leading several initiatives that include the development and implementation of uniform PhD candidacy exams and funding policy across all thesis-based graduate programs, as well as the streamlining of policies and procedures within the 11 Cumming School of Medicine graduate programs, ensuring consistency and efficiency to better support students and supervisors. 

An international search led by Janet Soles and Associates was conducted to find the best possible candidate to serve as the next dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the members of the advisory selection committee, that I chaired, for the time they dedicated to this important search. They are: Susan Skone (vice-president research representative), Dorothy Badry (tenured academic staff representative), Michelle Drefs (tenured academic staff representative), Siu Ming Kwok (tenured academic staff representative), Trevor Tombe (TUCFA representative), Ian Holloway (decanal representative), Catherine McLeod (MaPS representative), Robin Hawes (AUPE representative), Arlington Antonio Santiago (SU representative), James Steele (GSA representative), Melanie Noel (GFC representative), and Michael Kallos (GFC representative).

I would also like to thank Dr. Robin Yates for his excellent leadership of the Faculty of Graduate Studies from 2019 to 2023. Dr. Yates led a significant expansion of graduate enrolment as dean and vice-provost (graduate studies), facilitating the creation of over 50 new graduate credentials and specializations. With an emphasis on graduate student experience, Dr. Yates oversaw the modernization of graduate student recruitment, administration, and funding, including the launch of the International Graduate Student Tuition award that sees $3.5 million paid directly to over 1,250 international graduate students annually. Dr. Yates is now serving as UCalgary’s deputy provost.

Please join me in warmly welcoming Dr. Tara Beattie to her new role and thanking Dr. Robin Yates for his service to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the University of Calgary.

Penny Werthner, PhD
Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

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