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REF NO.: 199

SUBJECT: News deans, director appointed

DATE: May 30

            There are three new leaders at Memorial. The Board of Regents on May 26 approved the appointment of Dr. Noreen Golfman as new dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Dr. David Dibbon as the new dean of the Faculty of Education and Karen Kennedy as director of the Division of Lifelong Learning.
Dr. David Dibbon
            Dr. Dibbon has been the associate dean in Education since 2004. Prior to joining the faculty in the fall of 2000, Dr. Dibbon had a productive 20-year career in the public school system, working in the capacities of physical education and classroom teacher, assistant principal and principal. As the principal of one of the province’s largest high schools, Bishop’s College in St. John’s, from 1991-1999 he was recognized, both locally and nationally, on three separate occasions for his innovative leadership.
            “Given that I have been actively involved in the public school and the university education systems for almost 30 years and I have been studying and researching leadership in education for more than a decade, I feel that I am well positioned to provide intelligent and pro-active leadership to the faculty and the university community,” said Dr. Dibbon. 
           Dr. Dibbon is also a successful researcher who has published in the areas of: teacher education; teacher supply demand and retention; new teacher induction, education reform; technology, innovation and change in education; teacher working conditions; organizational learning and educational leadership and; school-aged male underachievement.
            He continues to be a strong supporter of public education and as the father of two young children is committed to research focused on making the school system a better place for students to learn and for teachers to work. He is involved, as a volunteer, in the university and the local community and has also served on the executive committees of his Rotary Club and the Eastern School District, where he was elected as a school board trustee.
            “I am honoured that I will have this opportunity and to build on the exceptionally good work of my predecessor, Dr. Alice Collins,” said Dr. Dibbon. “I am committed to working with my colleagues in the faculty as well as the university administration to advance the faculty as a national and global leader in education.”
Dr. Noreen Golfman
            Dr. Golfman is a professor of English and Film Studies, and has been acting dean in grad studies since Jan. 1, 2008. Prior to that, she held the position of associate dean of Graduate Studies since 2004.
            Her early work focussed on the Canadian poet A.M. Klein, about whom she produced a monograph. Current research and teaching areas are Canadian literature, film and culture studies. She has also taught and supervised graduate students in Women’s Studies and in a variety of topics, from Atwood to Youth Culture.
            She is currently president of the Canadian Federation of Social Sciences and Humanities, a national education advocacy group, as well as an advisor to the Canadian Studies program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
            She has been active in a number of other professional and community roles, notably as founding director of the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival (in its 19th year). For 15 years she has also been director of the MUN Cinema Series, a popular weekly alternative film showcase.
            She is also vice-chair, Newfoundland Labrador Film Development Corporation.
            Since 1994 she has been chair of the steering committee of the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, an advocacy group that promotes public broadcasting. In addition to publications in scholarly journals, Dr. Golfman has been writing on the arts and culture in more popular venues. She was the film columnist for the Canadian Forum, is a regular contributor to Newfoundland Quarterly, a culture magazine, and she writes a bi-weekly arts column (Standing Room Only) for the weekly provincial newspaper, the Independent.
            She also works as a freelance commentator, reviewer/performer for CBC radio and television and is a regular panellist on the national CBC Radio program Talking Books.
Karen Kennedy
            Ms. Kennedy is currently the dean of Health Sciences at the College of the North Atlantic.
            Ms. Kennedy's academic credentials include a bachelor of nursing and a master of education from Memorial University. She has steadily advanced in terms of administrative responsibility in the positions she has held in her career, starting as a faculty member in the Centre for Nursing Studies, moving through to project director for an international program she developed involving a partnership between the State of Qatar and the University of Calgary.
            Her background in professional development and special project development involving university and government partners locally, nationally and internationally is a particular strength. In addition, she has extensive financial and personnel management experience and an excellent track record of successfully building and leading teams. In her current role as dean of the School of Health Sciences in the College of the North Atlantic she has played a major leadership
role in the revitalization of existing programs and the development of new ones, \provision of supervision to faculty and staff, acquisition of accreditation status for programs and fiscal management of a significant budget.
            "I am looking forward to embarking on this wonderful opportunity as director, Division of Lifelong Learning, and to work with a team to ensure excellence in the delivery of programs and services that are accessible to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador," said Ms. Kennedy.
            Dr. Golfman’s appointment is effective June 1; Dr. Dibbon’s and Ms. Kennedy’s appointments July 1.

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For further information, please contact Ivan Muzychka, associate director (communications), Memorial University, at 737-8665 or


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