Dean Jane Pulkingham concludes term in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and takes on new role in the VPA

September 08, 2021

From SFU's Office of the Vice-President and Provost, Dr. Catherine Dauvergne, QC

Jane Pulkingham stepped down from her position as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) on August 31 and will be taking on the role of Special Advisor to Catherine Dauvergne, SFU’s Vice President, Academic and Provost. She had been Dean of FASS since January 2016 and had previously served as one of FASS’s Associate Deans for more than two years.

In her new role, Pulkingham will provide leadership, integration, and alignment for issues related to collective bargaining, the Faculty Allocation Model, and faculty relations at the university. 

“I am very grateful to Dr. Pulkingham for her continued willingness to serve SFU. Her administrative acumen and depth of knowledge will be invaluable to me and to everyone on the VPA team. I looking forward to working more closely with Jane over the coming months as there are many projects that have been delayed by the pandemic; this added bench strength is arriving at an ideal time,” says Catherine Dauvergne, vice-president, academic and provost.

FASS is SFU’s largest faculty, containing about 30 per cent of SFU’s faculty members and students. Under Pulkingham’s leadership, FASS experienced levels of faculty renewal that will shape the university for decades to come. FASS has a 50 per cent female faculty member complement, and the newest faculty members are a remarkably diverse group of stellar academics, researchers and teachers.  

Pulkingham’s stewardship also reinvigorated opportunities to build a rich and vibrant scholarly community through fellowships made possible by endowments such as the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellowship in the Humanities.

Pulkingham says, “I have had the opportunity to work with many talented people across the faculty and the university, as we collaborated to make FASS an outstanding place to work, learn and grow. We had already accomplished so much in the four years before the pandemic began. During the last two years, I saw FASS faculty and staff stepping up to work unbelievably hard to support the students and each other in our large and complex faculty.”

She is especially proud of setting FASS onto the initial steps towards reconciliation, decolonization and indigenization. Under her watch, FASS appointed the most Indigenous faculty members at SFU across a number of FASS units, and Indigenous faculty now represent about four per cent of total FASS continuing faculty complement. 

She adds, “We were able to bring the Interim Aboriginal University Prep Program into FASS, and supported a number of talented students as they transition into university life. I also had the privilege of creating a new staff position of Director, Indigenous Relations, and we now have a promising Reconcili-action plan for FASS. I look forward to seeing Indigenous studies at SFU not only survive, but thrive throughout FASS."

FASS has benefitted greatly from Pulkingham’s leadership. Her long list of accomplishments will not be forgotten as the VPA looks forward to continuing to work with her in her new role.