News & Events


New vice-deans appointed

The College of Arts & Science is pleased to announce that its three newly created vice-dean positions have been filled effective July 1, 2015.

The new appointments:

  • Vice-Dean Academic: Gordon DesBrisay (five-year term)
  • Vice-Dean Faculty Relations: Lawrence Martz (three-year term)
  • Vice-Dean Research, Scholarly, and Artistic Work: John (Jack) Gray (five-year term)

Additionally, Lorin Elias has agreed to serve as interim associate dean of student affairs for one year, starting July 1, as Gordon DesBrisay completes his five-year term in that role.

The three new vice-dean positions were created as part of the college’s changeover from a divisional structure to a more integrated structure. A college-wide search to fill the appointments was conducted this spring.

The new positions will replace the previous divisional vice-dean roles. In recognition of the many achievements of Peta Bonham-Smith (vice-dean science) and David Parkinson (vice-dean humanities & fine arts) over the past five years, a reception will be held on June 17 at the Marquis Hall Private Dining Room at 5:00 pm.

About the appointees

Gordon DesBrisay joined the University of Saskatchewan in 1992 and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1996, earning tenure that same year. From 2010 to the present, Gordon has served as Associate Dean, Student Affairs for the college. Dr. DesBrisay received his Ph.D. in Modern History from the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland. Prior to his work at the U of S, Gordon was Senior Research Fellow at the Center for the Humanities at Wesleyan University. He has served on many graduate student supervisory committees, and has given invited lecturers at many academic conferences. Dr. DesBrisay has proven to be a leader both academically and in his administrative responsibilities. He won the USSU Teaching Award in 2004, has received TEL funding, was Designated Dean of Open Studies from 2011-2014, and he was co-commitment leader on the recent IP3 Joint Taskforce on Student Aid.
Lawrence Martz joined the University of Saskatchewan in 1984, earning tenure in 1988 and the rank of full professor in 1995. He has served in numerous college leadership capacities, including Head of the Department of Geography, Acting Head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Designated Dean for the Biomolecular Structures Initiative, Designated Dean for Indigenous Peoples and Justice Programs, Acting Associate Dean of Science, and Associate Dean of Social Sciences from 2004-2008. Martz was Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research for a five year term, concluding in 2013, after which point he agreed to serve as Acting Vice-Dean, Social Sciences. Dr. Martz received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Saskatchewan, and is a Professional Geoscientist with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan. Prior to his work at the U of S, Lawrence worked as an instructor, a geographer, and a land analyst in Alberta and Saskatchewan. He has served on many graduate student supervisory committees and authored over 200 refereed and non-refereed publications. Dr. Martz was the science chair of the NSERC-funded network contributing to the international Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment, led a team studying the socio-economic impacts of climate change on the South Saskatchewan River basin, co-directed a CURA project on Métis land issues in NW Saskatchewan, and was the editor of Canada’s first all-digital provincial atlas: the Atlas of Saskatchewan (CD-ROM edition).  
Jack Gray joined the University of Saskatchewan in 2001 and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2006, earning tenure that same year. In 2011 he served as Acting Head of the Department of Biology, and has been Department Head since 2012. Dr. Gray received his Ph.D. in Biology (Neurobiology specialty) from Queen’s University. Prior to his work at the U of S, Jack was a research associate in the United States. He has served on many graduate student supervisory committees, given many invited lectures at academic conferences, trained many Highly Qualified Personnel, and received NSERC funding. Dr. Gray is on the Editorial Boards of the journals Frontiers in Physiology and Biology. Jack has served on many departmental, college, and university committees, including the Nominations Committee of Council. He is currently President of the Canadian Council of Biology Chairs, and was recently Section chair for the NSERC Evaluation Group on Biological Systems and Functions.  
Lorin Elias joined the University of Saskatchewan in 1998 in the Department of Psychology, achieving the rank of Professor in 2008. Lorin earned his B.A. (Hon.) from the University of Saskatchewan, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo. During his tenure, Dr. Elias was Associate Head for the Department of Psychology from 2010-2012, and has been Department Head since 2013. Lorin’s Tri-Agency funded research is in the areas of cognitive neuroscience, hemispheric specialization, spatial attention, driving safety, and advertising and aesthetics. In 2012, Dr. Elias received the University of Saskatchewan Master Teacher Award, as well as USSU Teaching Excellence Awards in 2001 and 2011. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Provost’s College Teaching Excellence Award for the Division of Social Sciences, and he was awarded the College’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2004. Lorin has served on numerous departmental and college committees, and became an initial leader in the college’s multi-year Curriculum Renewal, as a member of the First-Year Curriculum Review Committee. He also served on the selection committee for the university’s Master Teacher Award, has chaired the University Awards Committee, and he was a member of both the Saskatchewan Neuroscience Network Program Committee, and Council.