Members of the Quality Council

Paul Gooch


Paul W Gooch holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Toronto, where he has taught for four decades.  His academic administrative experience has been at many levels, as chair of humanities at the Scarborough campus, as associate dean, vice-dean and acting dean in the School of Graduate Studies, and as Vice-Provost dealing with faculty issues, academic integrity, and academic policy including reviews.  From 2001 until June 2015 he was president of Victoria University, federated with the University of Toronto.   His research and publications are in ancient philosophy, philosophical theology, philosophy of religion, and ethics.

Professor Gooch has broad knowledge of Canadian universities, and extensive experience in conducting, commissioning and appraising academic and institutional reviews.  He was chair of the Standing Committee on Acts and Bylaws of Universities Canada (formerly the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada), dealing with questions of academic freedom and conditions of membership.  He has reviewed academic programs in several provinces, and has been a member of the Campus Alberta Quality Council since 2012.

Neil Besner

Member / Out-of-Province Quality Assurance Expert

Born in Montreal, Neil Besner grew up in Rio de Janeiro and has travelled and taught widely in Brazil.  He taught Canadian literature at the University of Winnipeg from 1987 to 2017, and has spoken about Canadian literature in many countries. He held various senior administrative posts at UW since becoming Chair of the English Department (1993-2000), including Dean of Humanities; Dean of Arts; Associate Vice-President, International; Vice-President, Students and International; and Vice-President, Research and International. He served as Provost and Vice-President, Academic from 2012-17. From 2013-16 he was a member of CAQC, Campus Alberta Quality Council. He was responsible for the University of Winnipeg’s First integrated Research and Academic Plan (2016) and for the design and implementation of the requirement for all entering students of a half course on Indigenous Knowledge (2016).

He writes mainly on Canadian literature, with books on Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro, and an edited collection on Carol Shields; his prize-winning translation into English of a Brazilian biography of the poet Elizabeth Bishop in 2002 (Flores Raras e Banalíssimas: A História de Elizabeth Bishop e Lota de Macedo Soares) was the major source for the 2013 feature film “Reaching for the Moon” (“Flores Raras”). In 2001-02 he was the Seagram’s Chair at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, and from 2002-04 he served as President of ACCUTE (Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English).

Ben Bradshaw

Member / Graduate Dean Representative

Ben Bradshaw is Assistant Vice-President, Graduate Studies at the University of Guelph, with responsibility for assuring the quality of over ninety existing graduate programs.  He earned a BA at Trent University in 1992 and a PhD at the University of Guelph in 1999.  Since that time, Dr. Bradshaw has held academic positions at Simon Fraser University, the University of Guelph, and (as a visiting scholar) the University of British Columbia.  Prior to joining the Office of the Provost in 2016, Dr. Bradshaw served as Chair and, before that, Graduate Program Director in the Department of Geography.  In 2008, Dr. Bradshaw led the development of the University of Guelph’s Environmental Governance BA major, the first of its kind in the English-speaking world.  This focus mirrors Dr. Bradshaw’s externally funded research program, which seeks to critique and contribute to governance, especially in the agricultural, forestry and mining sectors.  His research has been widely cited and mobilized by governments, industry and communities.  Dr. Bradshaw is honoured to serve on the Quality Council as the representative of the Ontario Council for Graduate Studies (OCGS).

Erika Chamberlain

Member / Academic Colleague Representative

Erika Chamberlain is Dean of Law, Western University. Prior to her faculty appointment, Chamberlain graduated as Gold Medalist from Western Law in 2001, served as law clerk to Mr. Justice Major at the Supreme Court of Canada, and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2002. She received her doctorate from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar, SSHRC Doctoral Fellow, and recipient of the WM Tapp Studentship in Law at Gonville and Caius College.

Professor Chamberlain has authored numerous articles on tort law, with a particular focus on the tort liability of public authorities. She is the author of Misfeasance in a Public Office (2016), co-author of The Law of Torts in Canada, 3d ed. (2010) and Cases and Materials on the Law of Torts, 9th ed. (2015), and a co-editor of Emerging Issues in Tort Law (2007) and Tort Law: Challenging Orthodoxy (2013). Professor Chamberlain is a founding member of Western’s Tort Law Research Group, and was a co-organizer of the Sixth Biennial Conference on the Law of Obligations in 2012. She has also published extensively in the field of impaired driving law and alcohol-related civil liability, and has served as a legal research associate for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada since 1999.

Professor Chamberlain has won several teaching awards at the Faculty of Law and at Western University. She has been active in Western’s Institutional Quality Assurance Process at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and oversees Western Law’s professional accreditation processes.

Beverly A. Harris

Citizen Member

Beverly Harris earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Waterloo prior to obtaining a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Ottawa. From 1982 to 1990, she practiced law at Cassels, Brock in Toronto, where she specialized in administrative law. In April 2008 she completed a ten-year term as Chair of the Health Services Appeal and Review Board and the Ontario Hepatitis C Review Committee, two provincial adjudicative tribunals. She is currently an adjudicator and mediator for the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

Ms Harris served as a member of the Board of Governors at Wilfrid Laurier University for sixteen years beginning in 1995. During her tenure, Ms Harris chaired the Board of Governors for four years and also chaired the Chairs Council of Ontario Universities and the corresponding council for Chairs at the Association for Universities and Colleges of Canada.

Andrew McWilliams

Member / Academic Colleague Representative

Andrew McWilliams earned his BSc from Dalhousie University in 1996, and both his MSc (1999) and PhD (2001) from the University of Toronto. For two years he worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Calgary. In  2003, he was hired as faculty at Ryerson University, where he is currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biology. His research interests include the development of new materials with anti-microbial properties, as well as development and validation of new teaching technologies with applications in introductory, organic and inorganic chemistry courses.

Dr. McWilliams has served as a member of the Ryerson University Senate since 2014. During his tenure at Ryerson, he has held several roles related to program planning and development including serving as a member of the Senate Sub-Committee on Experiential Learning, acting as the Co-op Faculty Advisor for the Chemistry, Biology and Contemporary Science Programs, serving as the Academic Coordinator for the First Year and Common Science Office, and, serving as the Academic Coordinator member for Chemistry and Biology programs at the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. He also currently serves as the Academic Colleague for Ryerson University.

Sioban Nelson

Member / OCAV Representative

Sioban Nelson served as both Vice-Provost, Academic Programs and Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life at the University Toronto. As Vice-Provost, Academic Programs, Professor Nelson led the University’s Quality Assurance Process for undergraduate and graduate programs, working closely with all its faculties and schools and with other post secondary institutions. She was the contact person in the Provost’s Office for divisional academic planning, cross-faculty interdisciplinary initiatives, and University-wide academic policy matters. Professor Nelson is the senior assessor to the University’s Committee on Academic Policy and Programs of Academic Board, and a member of the Academic Board. In her role as Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life, Professor Nelson’s primary area of responsibility was academic personnel issues, including policy development. The Office of Faculty & Academic Life has responsibility for the development and oversight of a wide variety of policies and programs to support the institutional goal of appointing, promoting and retaining the best educated, most intellectually creative faculty it can identify.

Former Dean of the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, and former chair of the Council of Health Sciences, Professor Nelson is a Professor in the Faculty of Nursing, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurses. She is co-editor of the Culture and Politics of Healthcare Work series for Cornell University Press. Her current research interests include labour mobility and the global health workforce, and health professional regulation and the transnational history of nursing.

Alice Pitt

Member / OCAV Representative

Alice Pitt assumed the role of Vice-Provost Academic at York University in December 2012. Prior to this appointment, she served as Dean of York’s Faculty of Education from 2008 to 2012 and also as the Faculty’s Associate Dean, Pre-Service from 2002 to 2007 where she led curriculum renewal efforts as well as the design of experiential components, including the expansion of partnerships with schools and community organizations. Dr. Pitt received her PhD in education from the University of Toronto specializing in curriculum theory, critical/feminist pedagogy, and cultural studies in education; and she has published widely in these fields, as well as teacher education. She has been a colleague at York since 1995, becoming a Full Professor in 2009.

As the Vice-Provost Academic, Alice plays a lead role in planning, implementing and monitoring several key academic initiatives and priorities within the University. Working closely with colleagues in Senate and across Divisions/Faculties, she has responsibility for a range of core activities including quality assurance and faculty affairs. In addition, she provides senior management leadership to advance the University’s activities related to enhancing access, community engagement and collaborations with other post-secondary institutions.

Jenn Stephenson

Member / Undergraduate Dean Representative

Jenn Stephenson is Associate Dean (Studies) in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University. In this role, she is responsible for strategic initiatives and policies relating to the undergraduate academic experience, including admissions and recruitment, strategic plan enrollment and registration, curriculum development, academic consideration, faculty regulations, appeals, and academic integrity. Prior to joining the Dean’s Office, she was Chair of Undergraduate Studies for Drama, and then Drama and Music, from 2010. She also was Chair of the Faculty of Arts and Science curriculum committee. She is currently a member of the Queen’s University Senate Sub-committee on Academic Development.

Dr. Stephenson earned degrees from Western (BAH 1993 and MA 1999) and University of Victoria (MFA 1995) before completing her doctorate at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at University of Toronto in 2003. Between 1994 and 1997, she was a member of the Stratford Festival company. She joined the Drama Department (now the Dan School of Drama and Music) in 2003, becoming a Full Professor in 2017. She has had the honour of being a four-time recipient of the teaching award for Drama.

Her area of research is contemporary Canadian performance and the intersection of game design with theatre to describe the dramaturgy of audience participation. Insecurity: Perils and Products of Theatres of the Real was published in 2019 by University of Toronto Press. In 2013, Performing Autobiography: Contemporary Canadian Drama received the Ann Saddlemyer Award from the Canadian Association for Theatre Research in 2013. Dr. Stephenson is Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly Canadian Theatre Review, published by University of Toronto Journals.

Ian Orchard

Senior Director (Academic) / Ex-officio

Ian Orchard is a Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto. He served as a Vice-President of the University of Toronto, and Principal of the University of Toronto Mississauga for eight years (2002-2010), during which time he led the growth and development of the University of Toronto Mississauga into a semi-autonomous campus of the University of Toronto. He was previously the University of Toronto’s first Vice-Provost, Students, and also held positions as Vice-Dean and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts & Science. In recognition for his contributions, the University of Toronto established the Ian Orchard Student Initiatives Fund in 2010. Its goal is to enhance the student experience and strengthen the sense of community through the funding of student-led projects and events. In 2014 he joined the University of Waterloo as Vice-President Academic and Provost, stepping down in 2017.

An expert in insect neurobiology with more than 200 research publications, Professor Orchard has been funded by NSERC since 1980, has chaired the NSERC Animal Physiology Grant Selection Committee, and has presented numerous invited papers at international conferences. He earned a Doctor of Science degree (1988), a PhD (1975), and a B.Sc. (1972), all from the University of Birmingham, in England.