July 28, 2022Print | PDF
Patricia (Trish) Genoe McLaren will begin her five-year term as the new associate vice-president: academic (AVPA) at Wilfrid Laurier University on Aug. 1. Prior to this role, McLaren was associate dean of the undergraduate business programs at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics. She has made many contributions to Laurier since joining the community in 2009 and took some time to answer a few questions about her work, academic vision and life outside of the classroom.
The main difference in the AVPA role from my previous roles is scope. Many of the responsibilities of the AVPA are facets of the university that I have been involved with at the program, department and faculty levels. As AVPA, I will provide support across all faculties and campuses.
I am excited to bring my multi-campus experience to the role and work with each campus to develop its strengths while also fostering community and integration across all Laurier campuses.
I will begin my term as AVPA by jumping immediately into several projects and operational responsibilities. I will consider my first year a success if we have made substantial progress on those projects and if I have earned the confidence of others in my competence in handling my operational responsibilities.
Disagreements occur in every workplace. My experience at Laurier is that in many of the situations in which people disagree, we are still working towards common goals of program and research excellence. I have worked with many people at Laurier who are willing to take the time to understand the context and perspective of others in the room, and with that information, refine their own stance and work together to develop a strong solution.
I think that the most enjoyable part of the AVPA role will be working with faculty members and staff across all faculties, campuses and departments. I’ve always enjoyed joining a committee and meeting new Laurier people, and now I will have many opportunities to meet new people and learn about their part of the Laurier community.
Learning comes through making mistakes. It took me a long time to fully appreciate this, and it is now the most frequent advice that I try to impart to my students.
I am most inspired by my mom, Sheila Genoe. When someone came to her with a problem, she would immediately begin learning all she could about the situation and respond, within days, with useful steps towards a solution. I have the same passion for understanding and helping, and I hope to use it in the AVPA role to help faculty, staff, and students.
Two months in Scotland, with time in the cities and the highlands.
I am halfway through Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (and I plan to finish it when the library lets me have it back!). I am enjoying the different stories being told and the movement between timelines, and I am interested in how they will all interconnect. But the pandemic story in the novel does hit a little too close to home!
There is a lot of discussions these days about flexible work arrangements and fully remote work. I want everyone to know that I enjoy working on campus. I enjoy seeing and chatting with a variety of people, having someone to commiserate with when I’m frustrated, having spontaneous hallway conversations that build community and sometimes lead to finding solutions to tricky problems, talking about the season finale of Stranger Things, and getting out of my house. I will be on both the Waterloo and Brantford campuses regularly, and I would love to chat if we run into each other.
For more information about McLaren and her background, read the June 6 appointment announcement.