This is our friend Sherman Young’s last week in the role of PVC Learning and Teaching. We’ll all miss you in the role and wish you the very best for your next chapter.

Sherman has been in the role of PVC Learning and Teaching since October 2013. Prior to that Sherman was Associate Dean Learning and Teaching, Head of Department and Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies. After a short study break, Sherman will return to the Department as a Professor of Media Studies.

Sherman’s key achievements in the role of PVC L&T:

  • Led university consultation to develop and implement several targets identified in Learning and Teaching Strategic Framework 2015 – 2020
  • Re-designed and aligned Learning and Teaching grants and awards to strategic objectives – invested: $9.5Mil grants & $250K awards
  • Provided leadership to enable full implementation of PACE, now available to all undergraduate students
  • Managed university relationships with Coursera, supporting the release of Big History project, Excel, and the Global MBA.
  • Designed and established Active Learning Spaces across campus
  • Supported implementation of HEA Accreditation framework
  • Designed and led the SBS (Media) Mentors program
  • Establishment of a Shark Tank student entrepreneurs initiative (2015 – 2017)
  • Implementation of Orientation as a Program (i.e. incorporating academic and campus activities) from 2014
  • Piloted innovation in learning and teaching: D2L and Brightspace, E-exams/Examity, YouSeeU, Kaltura, Your Tutor/Studiosity

Sherman Young. Photo by Mike Catabay for LIH

He’s been Chair of the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee (SLTC) and the Gender Equity Committee, and a board member of Dunmore Lang College. He’s made a significant contribution to the Reconciliation Action Plan, Indigenous Strategy and Scholarships committees and has been a Lead Policy Influencer on Academic Integrity, Academic Progression, Academic Promotions, Assessment, English Language, PAL/PASS and Student Surveys.

Here are a few words from some of his closest colleagues:

Lindie Clark, Academic & Programs Director, Professional and Community Engagement (PACE)

I’ve loved every moment of working with Sherman. He’s such a dynamic thinker and doer, and a brilliant strategist. He’s a fabulous boss who trusts you to deliver on a shared vision, and who offers really incisive and creative advice on tackling challenges and grabbing opportunities. He’s also amazing fun to be with.

Tanya Rose, Strategic and Innovation Lead, Learning Innovation Hub

Sherman has always been clear that he not only trusts us as people who work for him but also that we are people who work WITH him. I always felt valued and respected and comfortable with standing by my position, even if it was one that did not fully align with his. Moreover, he built a team of people who were passionate about teaching and learning and fostered us through his own passion for it. I can’t imagine working with and for someone who is more caring, enthusiastic, resilient, and committed.

Laura Heron, Executive Officer, Office of the DVCA

Thank you for leading significant cultural (and in turn operational) change by walking the talk, influencing and networking. In my time here, no other leader has championed ‘the student’ as thoughtfully and authentically as you. I feel so fortunate to have had a boss, teacher, mentor, philosopher, psychologist and friend all in one. I know when it comes to the important stuff, you really do care. Cheers to you.

Cathy Rytmeister, Quality and Assurance Lead, Learning Innovation Hub

Sherman is genuinely interested in our ideas and encourages creativity in our thinking. I’ve really liked the openness of our working relationship and the fact that we can explore different approaches and disagree with no loss of respect or confidence in each other’s’ work and goodwill.

Yvonne Breyer, Program Director (Design and Experience), Faculty of Business and Economics

Sherman’s mantra is “Change is the new default”. Always challenging the status quo. Collaborative, inclusive and future-focused.

Leanne Denby, Director of Sustainability

Sherman’s door was always open with no hesitation to listen to new ideas and support projects – particularly those that were values based and innovative in their approach to learning and teaching. His counsel and sense of humour always made conversations both valuable and fun. Sherman is one-of-a-kind. His genuine approach and commitment to making the University, learning and teaching, and the student journey distinctive, memorable and enjoyable will be greatly missed. I’m not sure who I will go to now when I need to bandy around a new learning and teaching idea and understand its possibilities. He is a font of learning and teaching knowledge.

Julie Doherty, Career and Employment Manager

Sherman was one of the best managers I have ever had. Intuitive, an active listener with a consultative, collaborative style, he always had time and respect for the Careers Team. We will miss him greatly.

Naomi Gray, Executive Assistant, Office of the PVC Learning and Teaching

Sherman is an inspirational and innovative leader whose achievements have animated his staff and the university as a whole.  His humanity, humour and generosity of time and purpose have earned him respect and repute. I will miss him.

Cassie Khamis, Orientation Program Manager

I still remember interviewing with Sherman and walking out thinking, “Was that even an interview? I don’t remember being asked any questions…”. Working with Sherman has taught me so much, including that anyone can be a renegade if they have a good idea and we should all be embracing learning technologies (even if we are not academics!). He has been such a supportive manager and its been so refreshing to work for an academic and senior executive that really cares about the student experience.

If you’d like to leave Sherman a parting tribute, please do so in the comments below.

Posted by Geraldine Timmins

I was Communications and Engagement Lead for the Learning Innovation Hub 2017 - 2018 and Teche Editor during that time.

One Comment

  1. A glimmering example of “Humanistic Leadership”. Best wishes for your future!


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