Provost & Vice-President, Academic

Dr. David W. Barnett

Deb Comuzzi


Position Overview

The Provost and Vice-President Academic serves as Lakehead University’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Academic Officer (CAO). As Lakehead’s senior Vice-President, represents Lakehead at councils, meetings, and conferences. The Provost also takes the lead on implementing strategic priorities – such as international recruitment and institutional internationalization – and leads and manages external relationships and partnerships with other universities, colleges, and institutes.

As Chief Operating Officer, the Provost works in close collaboration with the President to ensure the integration of internal and external priorities, initiatives, and operations. A key aspect of this role revolves around leading effective internal institutional planning and ensuring that decision management and assessment processes are in place and functioning well. Other roles the Provost holds as CEO include Vice-Chair of the Executive Team Working Group, Vice-Chair of Senate, President’s designate in her absence, and NOSM Board of Directors Chair.

The Provost, in the capacity of Chief Academic Officer, leads the direction of Lakehead’s academic mission and priorities, academic decision-making processes, and promotes institution-wide collegiality and cooperation. This encompasses developing and implementing the Academic Plan, allocating academic resources, leading implementation plans, and ensuring that academic budgets reflect academic priorities.

Fostering excellence and innovation in Teaching, Learning, and Technology, Student Support Service, External Ministry Reporting and Compliance, and Academic Program Quality Assurance and Accreditations are key CAO responsibilities.

In addition, the Provost ensures that all academic units contribute to the success of Lakehead students and the University, that student services meet student needs, and that academic programs remain relevant and offer high-quality instruction.