Dr. David Barnett named Lakehead University’s Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

Friday, January 10, 2020 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

Today, Lakehead President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson announced that Dr. David Barnett has been named the University’s Provost & Vice-President (Academic). The role is the top academic position at Lakehead, with responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Academic Officer for the University. Dr. Barnett will begin his new role effective immediately.

Dr. Barnett joined Lakehead in July 2012 as Dean of the University’s Faculty of Engineering, and has held the roles of Acting, and then Interim, Provost & Vice-President (Academic) since January 2018.

“Dr. Barnett’s work as our Dean of Engineering and in the Provost’s Office has been exemplary,” said Dr. McPherson. “He is a collaborative and personable scholar and professional whose commitment to our faculty and students is evident in everything he does.”

“It will be a pleasure continuing to work with David who brings an energy and philosophy of learning and the creation of new knowledge that advances Lakehead University’s vision for the future,” added Dr. McPherson. “Importantly, he shares our strategic commitment to Reconciliation, equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as Universities Canada’s Principles on Indigenous Education.”

Dr. Barnett explained that Lakehead University’s commitment to providing access and support to students facing barriers to higher education has always resonated with him, adding, “We provide a truly transformative experience through innovative teaching and research, through a comprehensive offering of outstanding programs, and with a clear focus on student success.”

“I have always been impressed by Lakehead’s dedicated staff, faculty and leadership,” said Dr. Barnett. “At every level, you see their commitment to our students and I am honoured to serve in the role of Provost & Vice-President (Academic).”

Dr. David Barnett

Dr. Barnett received his D.Sc. in Electrical Engineering with a certificate in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University, St. Louis, an MSc degree at the University of Washington and a BSc degree from Bradley University, both in Electrical Engineering. He is a member of Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, and a senior member of IEEE.

After completing his doctoral studies, Dr. Barnett was an Electrical Engineering faculty member and subsequently Chair of the Biomedical Engineering Department at Saint Louis University, where he led the development of an innovative and successful program. In addition to his research in biomedical signal processing and electrophysiology, Dr. Barnett worked on electromagnetic signature analysis while in the aerospace industry before embarking on an academic career.

Dr. Barnett moved to Thunder Bay to join Lakehead University as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering in July 2012. During his service as Dean, the Faculty of Engineering continued to build its nationally recognized transfer pathway from college technology programs while also increasing direct entry and international enrollments, developing new graduate programs, and expanding its research profile.

Since taking on the Acting and then Interim Provost & Vice-President (Academic) role, Dr. Barnett led the development and implementation of the University’s 2018-2024 Academic Plan through a consultative and transparent process. He has demonstrated experience and ongoing commitment to building programs, pathways, partnerships, and services that support student success.


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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.



Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has 10 faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. In 2019, Maclean’s 2020 University Rankings, once again, included Lakehead University among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, while Research Infosource named Lakehead 'Research University of the Year' in its category for the fifth consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.