Toronto Metropolitan University appointed Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano as provost and vice-president, academic, effective June 1, 2023. Iannacito-Provenzano had been serving in the role of interim provost and vice-president, academic since Oct. 1, 2022.
A valued and respected member of the Toronto Metropolitan University community, Iannacito-Provenzano has proven senior leadership experience at two large universities in unionized environments, a collaborative spirit guided by empathy and a strong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and collegial governance. She brings to the role a solid understanding of how both the academic and administrative sides of the university function, and the ability to think things through strategically, creatively and move them forward effectively.
Iannacito-Provenzano joined TMU as vice-provost, faculty affairs in 2020 from York University, where she held progressive academic administrative roles including undergraduate program director, chair of a large department, and both the associate dean, programs and associate dean, faculty affairs portfolios in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.
“I am thrilled to be appointed as TMU’s provost and vice-president academic,” said Iannacito-Provenzano. “I am looking forward to engaging with President Lachemi, senior leadership, faculty, students, staff, alumni and the broader community to move forward the university’s strategic priorities and to advance equity, diversity, inclusion practices in all that we do.
“As a leader, I strive to make change collaboratively with colleagues who believe in strengthening our academic offerings, in empowering our students from all over the world to succeed, and in ensuring that we actively recruit and retain diverse faculty and staff, all while being bold and innovative."
In addition to serving as provost, Iannacito-Provenzano will retain her role as a tenured professor in the department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, in the Faculty of Arts. Roberta holds a PhD from the University of Toronto, a Certificate in Conflict and Dispute Resolution from York University, and a Labour Relations Certificate jointly from TRSM and Lancaster House. She is fluent in English, French and Italian.
Committed to open communication and collaboration
An accomplished scholar, teacher and academic leader, Iannacito-Provenzano has had the pleasure of teaching a variety of courses in Canada and abroad, to some amazing students throughout her career. She is the author of one monograph and two edited volumes on topics pertaining to Southern Italian dialectology, Social Media and the University, and Italian Foodways Worldwide.
Notably, she was the president of the Canadian Association for Italian Studies (2020-2022), the vice-president of the Italian-Canadian Archives Project (2019-2021) and has been the recipient of numerous academic and professional awards, including the CIBPA Award for Excellence for service to the community.
Iannacito-Provenzano has extensive experience in academic labour relations and, in her vice-provost, faculty affairs role, advocated for equitable hiring and evaluation policies and developed, with a great team, a robust and well-received suite of initiatives dedicated to enhancing faculty professional development. Her belief in open communication, collegiality and collaboration is demonstrated through her commitment to professional development and accommodation.
While at York, Iannacito-Provenzano led the organization and facilitation of workshops for faculty on a variety of important topics, such as sexual violence response, indigenizing curricula, and accessibility in academia. She also led major departmental renovations, which ensured accessible spaces for students, faculty and staff.
At TMU, Iannacito-Provenzano serves as one of the three executive co-chairs of both the Presidential Implementation Committee to Confront Anti-Black Racism and of the TRC Strategic Working Group.
The role of the provost and vice-president, academic at Toronto Metropolitan University is second only to the president’s in scope. The provost is TMU’s chief academic ofﬁcer, chief operating ofﬁcer and the principal advisor to the president on all academic affairs, providing leadership in academic policy and programming, strategic planning and university budgeting. The provost’s team includes four vice-provosts, an assistant vice-president, the decanal group, the chief librarian and directors of TMU’s faculties, schools and academic support services and facilities.