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Graduate studies dean new president of national association

By Mandy Cook

The dean of graduate studies at Memorial University has been appointed head of Canada's national association of graduate studies.

Dr. Noreen Golfman is the new president of the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies (CAGS). She began her duties Nov. 6.

Dr. Golfman, who recently served as vice-president of the association, says she is already focused on some very specific objectives.

"My major goal is situating CAGS at the centre of the national debate on post-secondary education issues," she said. "We need to be a more consistent and powerful voice in Ottawa and in our provinces, and so communication, branding, credibility — these are key if we are to have an influence on policy and funding."

Dr. Golfman says she is also keen to initiate work around internationalization, managing recruitment, graduate dean leadership and research funding. She is also hoping Memorial will host the 2014 CAGS annual conference at Memorial University.

"It's good for Memorial to have such direct responsibility for the annual conference and for setting the policy agenda for the organization. It puts us squarely at the centre of national issues."

Board members of CAGS meet on a quarterly basis and again at the annual conference. Dr. Golfman recently attended the organization's 50th anniversary conference in Ottawa, Ont. The annual event last took place at Memorial in 2005.

Dr. Golfman has attended annual CAGS conferences since becoming associate dean of the School of Graduate Studies. She says it is a "necessary" duty and by participating in the gatherings, she is able to share ideas with her colleagues and discover what strengths and weaknesses their respective institutions have in common across a country as large as Canada.

CAGS brings together deans and administrators from 58 Canadian universities with graduate programs. It is also an information hub for stakeholders including Canada's funding agencies and graduate student organizations. The association was founded in 1962 to promote graduate education and university research through meetings, publications and advocacy.