By Kayla Perry, Editor-in-Chief
On Jan. 19, Laurentian University officially welcomed Dr. Rui Wang, the new Vice President of Research.
Wang’s appointment came as the result of a unanimous vote by the Board of Governors in June of 2014, which extended Wang a five-year contract ending in 2020.
Wang came to Laurentian after leaving Lakehead University, where he held the position of Vice President of Research, Economic Development and Innovation for ten years.
In his new role at Laurentian, Wang said he plans on increasing and supporting research within the university.
“It’s my responsibility to oversee the research activity in the university, to support and organize research teams, and also to kind of cultivate the culture of research innovation. To make sure research is as important as other initiatives of the university,” said Wang. “Very often, I treat myself as a cheerleader. I view my role as one to support, not dictate. To coordinate, and to provide the resources, and then to let the researchers follow their curiosities. All research should be followed and applauded.”
Prior to spending ten years as Vice President at Lakehead, Wang had completed his Ph.D. in Physiology at the University of Alberta, after which he accepted positions at University de Montreal and the University of Saskatchewan, respectively.
“This is a great time in the history of this university – everyone demands and sees the necessity in having an increase of research, whether that is research activities on campus or off of campus. I think I have come (to the university) at the right time, and at the right place, to work with the Board, senate, faculty, and our students under the leadership of Dominic Giroux, our President, to make this university a stronghold, and one of the best in not only the nation, but in the world, in a selected area of research excellence.”
According to Wang, he sees four steps which are necessary for research success at any university, all of which he believes Laurentian can offer: the first being a vision or strategy, followed by the brightest mind (referring to the research teams), followed closely by student resources, including buildings and funding, and finally to celebrate the success.
“If we can get these four things done, we will see a bright future for Laurentian.”