Canisius Names New Dean of Arts & Sciences

March 1, 2016


BUFFALO, NY - Canisius Vice President for Academic Affairs, Margaret C. McCarthy, PhD, has appointed Elizabeth A. Gill, PhD, the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Gill is currently director of the Honors Program and director of the Women’s Leadership Network at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA. She begins her new position at Canisius College on July 11, 2016.

“Dr. Gill’s considerable experience in academia, as a faculty member and administrator, along with her personal sense of the Catholic mission make her a strong fit for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Canisius,” says McCarthy. “She has a track record of collaborative leadership across all academic and operational areas, advocacy for the value of student-focused experiential learning, and experience with programmatic assessment and institutional accreditation, all of which will enable the college to build on its existing strengths in the pursuit of academic excellence.”

As chief academic officer for the College of Arts and Sciences, the largest of the three schools at Canisius, Gill will oversee 113 full-time and 129 part-time faculty, who teach in 39 undergraduate and graduate programs. Responsible for enhancing the academic profile of Canisius, she will manage the implementation of new academic programs, and lead the faculty to further academic excellence in teaching, research and in service to their departments and programs. She will strengthen assessment measures to improve student learning, and develop and implement student support systems that improve retention. Additional responsibilities include fostering interdisciplinary learning and scholarship, promoting service opportunities and service-learning components of academic courses and supporting the faculty as it implements and fine-tunes the college’s core curriculum.                                    

Gill brings with her to the position experience as a faculty member and administrator, primarily at Randolph-Macon College, a private liberal arts and sciences college.

During her tenure as a professor of sociology, she taught interdisciplinary, experiential, travel and researched-based courses in population, poverty and the environment; human rights; health, healing and illness; death and dying; and social movements. For nearly 16 years, Gill served as chair of the Department of Sociology/Anthropology, and she is credited with growing the department and the program to become one of the three largest majors at Randolph-Macon. She also became director of the Social Justice Community Engagement and Leadership Program during this time, leading initiatives that created academic service-learning experiences around social justice issues.

As director of Randolph-Macon’s First-Year Experience, Gill coordinated, implemented and assessed the three-course program required of all first-year students. In her role as director of the Women’s Studies Program, she organized interdisciplinary curriculum offerings and collaborated with the college’s Women’s Resource Center to provide services and campus-wide programming around women’s issues and issues of diversity. She later became director of the Women’s Leadership Network, a program devoted to recruiting, supporting, advancing and retaining a diverse community of women at the college. That same year, Gill took on an additional role as director of the Honors Program, for which she formulated, coordinated and implemented institutional initiatives to enhance the program’s viability.

Gill holds a BA in sociology from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX; an MA in medical sociology from Yale University; and a PhD in sociology from the University of Texas, Austin. In 2013, the American Council on Education (ACE) named her an ACE Fellow. This premier program prepares promising faculty and administrators for senior leadership positions in higher education. Gill participated in institutional projects involving enrollment management strategies, programs and initiatives; online learning policies and approaches; institutional development and fundraising; diversity recruitment and retention; and alternative business models for higher education.

For more information, contact the Office of Public Relations at Canisius College at (716) 888-2790.

One of 28 Jesuit colleges in the nation, Canisius is the premier private college in Western New York.