Coming full circle: Alumna Kathy McNutt is the new Associate Vice-President (Research) and Dean of Graduate Studies and Research

By Dale Johnson Posted: August 8, 2018 1:30 p.m.

Kathy McNutt’s roots with the U of R go back to when she was a student here in 1996.
Kathy McNutt’s roots with the U of R go back to when she was a student here in 1996. Photo: External Relations

The new Associate Vice-President (Research) and Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Kathy McNutt, wants to see the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research develop a more student-centred culture.

While there are already all kinds of supports for students, McNutt says this is always room for improvement.

“I think there needs to be more time spent focused on student programs and student needs,” says McNutt, who started her new position on July 1.

“I’ve always been passionate about students and research. I’m thrilled that this new position combines two of my passions,” she says.

She also says she wants to promote community engagement and support Indigenization.

McNutt, who has been at the U of R for 13 years, was previously Professor and Executive Director of the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS). Before that she was the Director and prior to that she was Associate Professor and Graduate Chair at JSGS at the U of R.

Earlier this year, the U of R decided to combine two positions: Associate Vice-President (Research) and Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.    

It was a logical combination because graduate students are the engine that drives research at every campus around the world, says the Vice-President (Research), Dr. Dave Malloy.

“What influences our research agenda acutely influences our graduate students and postdocs,” he says.

“This is a challenging and unique role at the U of R and Dr. McNutt is the ideal person to provide outstanding leadership and service to our students and at the same time be a catalyst for enhancing our research reputation and impact broadly,” Malloy adds.

McNutt’s research areas include e-government, social media, environmental issues, and network governance.

Her ties to the U of R go back to 1996, when she first took classes here. She’s noticed plenty of changes since then – and not just in the number of new buildings that have been added during the past 22 years.

“There’s more accessibility, and the campus is so much more inclusive than it used to be. There are incredible opportunities for our students to engage in global citizenship, by sitting in classrooms with students from, say, Iran or Mexico or the Ukraine – and having conversations and learning about each other. There are also far more opportunities to study abroad. I think the University of Regina should be really proud of the extent to which it’s engaged in preparing young people to be global citizens.”

After graduating with a BA in Political Science from the U of R, she earned a Masters at the University of Alberta and then a PhD at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. McNutt was a researcher, instructor, and teaching assistant for a few years at SFU, before returning to the U of R.  

“I’m a University of Regina alumni, so I’ve always had a deep commitment to this University.”

Now she’s ready to focus even more on the needs of graduate students.

“If there were no students, we wouldn’t be here. So students come first, and everything else will follow. That’s why it’s so important to engage with and support our students.”