There will be a new face at the helm of Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus later this fall. Stephen Dooley, director of community engagement at Kwantlen Polytechnical University (KPU), will take up the post of executive director, effective Nov. 1.
Dooley, who has worked in Surrey for more than two decades and has extensive community ties, will build on the work of founding Executive Director Joanne Curry, who has for the past decade overseen SFU Surrey’s rapid growth, from its programs to its reputation and community relationships.
Curry has taken a new post at SFU as associate vice-president of external relations but will remain involved in Surrey’s expansion plans, municipal relations and the support of SFU’s India initiative.
“We welcome Stephen and look forward to his leadership in helping us to expand our Surrey programs and contributions,” says SFU President Andrew Petter. “He brings an enthusiasm, experience and a deep understanding of our commitment to being Canada’s most community-engaged research university.”
Says Dooley: “I am honoured and humbled to be taking on this position. I hope to continue the amazing efforts at SFU Surrey to engage meaningfully in the local community, and to support the success of students in both their education and in developing their own commitment to community.
“I’m proud to be part of the emerging dynamic vibe of the City Centre,” Dooley adds. “I look forward to working with the SFU Surrey team as well as community stakeholders as we address the social, economic and cultural issues that affect us all.”
Dooley, originally from Ontario, began teaching in KPU’s sociology department in 1993. He has served as an administrator, researcher and instructor, twice serving as chair of Sociology and teaching both sociology and criminology courses.
Prior to acquiring his community engagement role at KPU earlier this year, Dooley spent nine years as director of the institution’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Research (CIR:CLE). In this role he led the development of KPU’s approach to community-based research.
The role also spawned myriad community partnerships with such stakeholders as the City of Surrey, the Surrey School District, the Board of Trade and numerous non-profit agencies. His involvements include key contributions to Surrey’s first poverty reduction plan, vice-chairing the city’s Social Policy Advisory Committee and serving on the boards of KEYS House and Health Solutions and the Surrey Urban Mission.
Earlier this year Dooley was named Leader of the Year in the The Surrey-North Delta Leader’s annual Community Leader Awards.
In 2008 Dooley and KPU colleagues secured a five-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council CURA grant, worth $1 million, to study youth violence in Surrey. He also chaired a task force on improving student life at KPU, sparked new initiatives and has worked closely with community Aboriginal partners.
“I am thrilled that Stephen Dooley will be the next executive director of SFU Surrey and look forward to working with him in the years ahead,” adds Curry, noting that he will also play an integral role in developing further partnerships with SFU’s “sister institution” in the South Fraser, given his long tenure at KPU.
Simon Fraser University is Canada’s top-ranked comprehensive university and one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries.