Melissa Poole, left, is McMaster’s new associate vice president of finance and academic planning. Sarah Robinson has been appointed Acting Registrar. A selection committee will be set up in the autumn to appoint the new registrar.
by Fernando Carneiro, Provost’s Office
29 August 2023
A senior leader with extensive experience at McMaster University has been selected as the new associate vice president for Academic Planning and Finance.
Melissa Poole, who has been the university’s registrar for nearly 13 years, will be tasked with ensuring that university programs align with the resources needed to advance McMaster’s academic, teaching and research mission.
“I am delighted to welcome Melissa to this new role,” says Provost and Vice President (Academics) Susan Tighe. “She is a leader who is already familiar with our university and who has shown an aptitude for fostering innovation and good financial leadership.”
Sarah Robinson will serve as McMaster’s acting registrar. She has been the Assistant Dean, Academics in the Faculty of Science since October 2020.
“Sarah is a collaborative leader whose experience and perspective coming from across the Faculty of Science will strengthen the relationship between the Registrar’s Office and our six faculties,” says Tighe. “These appointments underscore McMaster’s commitment to academic and operational excellence.”
The AVP will provide senior support and advice to the Provost and other senior leaders in the areas of academic planning and finance policy development, strategic planning and resource allocation.
This requires in-depth knowledge of McMaster’s academic field and a detailed understanding of the university.
“It is a privilege to continue to serve McMaster students and faculty members in this new position,” says Poole. “I look forward to leveraging the strong relationships we have built across campus while providing strategic insight for organizational planning and resource deployment to fulfill the university’s academic mission.”
Poole graduated from McMaster with an Honors Bachelor of Arts and an MBA degree. As Registrar, she supported the students in their entire academic journey from recruitment and admission, financial aid and awards to registration and convocation.
He digitized the office, led over 15 technology implementations, and drove changes in how services are administered to improve the student experience. Poole also regularly collaborated with McMaster’s faculties, including the Faculty of Engineering, on the introduction of verifiable digital diplomas, making McMaster one of the first institutions globally to do so.
As Acting Registrar, Robinson will draw on her experience leading large teams with a student focus.
“During my time at McMaster, I have always tried to put the students at the center of every discussion or decision,” says Robinson. “I believe I can lead the registrar’s portfolio in positive ways, first and foremost to help our students achieve the mandate of the registrar’s office, the university, and support our faculty partners.”
Robinson earned an Honors Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster and a Master of Science in Health Studies and Gerontology from the University of Waterloo. She has worked at McMaster for 15 years in various roles, including manager of the McMaster Child Health Research Institute and administrator, interdisciplinary programs in the Faculty of Science.
A selection committee will be set up in the autumn to appoint the new registrar.
“I believe Melissa and Sarah are the right people to ensure that McMaster continues to provide a transformative educational experience for our students,” says Deputy Provost Matthias Grasselli. “I congratulate both the leaders.”
Poole and Robinson will begin their new roles on September 1.