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St. Thomas boasts all women in the top ranks

By NATALIE SAMSON | SEP 12 2016

for the first time in its history, the highest ranks at St. Thomas University in Fredericton are made up entirely of women. This summer, the liberal arts university announced the appointments of Kim Fenwick to the post of vice-president, academic and research, and Jodi (Hutchinson) Misheal to the role of vice president, advancement and alumni relations.

Dr. Fenwick, formerly chair of the psychology department and dean of social sciences, and Ms. Misheal, a 25-year veteran in the advancement field, join St. Thomas President Dawn Russell, installed in 2011, and Lily Fraser, who was appointed vice-president, finance and administration, in 2012.

The all-woman lineup is unusual in senior leadership at Canadian universities. In a recent study, University of Alberta President David Turpin found that the proportion of women presidents has hovered around 20 percent for nearly two decades. Ms. Russell notes that St. Thomas’s high-level appointments are proof that a woman is just as strong a candidate as a man (or stronger) when hiring follows a “transparent, well-designed process based on clear criteria related to merit.”

It could be a short-lived boast, however. Ms. Misheal is set to serve in her post on an interim basis of nine months beginning in September while the institution searches for a permanent replacement.

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