Laurentian University has announced the appointment of David Fortin as the next director of the McEwen School of Architecture, effective Jan. 1, 2018.
He will be the successor to the founding director, Terrance Galvin, whose second three-year term ends on Dec. 31, 2017.
Pursuant to the terms of the faculty collective agreement, school directors and department chairs may only serve two three-year terms, a press release issued by Laurentian June 8 said.
Galvin, a tenured full professor, will continue on at the school as a faculty member.
Fortin has been an assistant professor at the McEwen School of Architecture since 2013. He holds a doctorate from the University of Edinburgh and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Calgary.
He previously spent five years as a faculty member at the Montana State University School of Architecture and practised with several firms as a professional architect.
Fortin is of Métis ancestry with an active research program in Indigenous design processes. He holds a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant and has published numerous scholarly works in this field.
Earlier this year, Fortin was named associate director of the Maamwizing Research Institute, Laurentian’s Indigenous research centre. He is member of the Alberta Association of Architects, and of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
Throughout his career, he has merited scholarships and awards, including the Science North Partnership Award in 2015. With this appointment, Fortin is the first Indigenous architect to become a director of a Canadian school of architecture.
"Terrance leaves big shoes to fill as the founding director of the McEwen School of Architecture,” Fortin said.
“I look forward to working with students, faculty, staff and our numerous community partners in pursuing the vision of the steering committee that resulted in the creation of the school, led and enhanced by Terrance over the past six years.
"I will leave my role as director in December 2017 with a deep sense of accomplishment and pride. We just graduated our charter class last week, the building is complete, and we will welcome our first intake at the graduate level this fall," Galvin said.
"The McEwen School of Architecture will be in excellent hands with David Fortin at the helm. He can count on my full support and I look forward to continuing to advance the interests of the school in the years to come."
Pierre Zundel, vice-president, academic and provost, expressed his appreciation for what he describes as Galvin's exemplary leadership as founding director.
"Terrance brought the school much further ahead than anyone would have thought possible six years ago,” Zundel said.
“Sudbury and indeed Northern Ontario owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his vision, determination, community spirit, commitment and creativity.”