Linda Johnston appointed U of T vice-president and U of T Scarborough principal


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Professor Linda Johnston, a renowned nursing researcher and institutional leader, has been appointed vice-president, University of Toronto, and principal, U of T Scarborough for a five-year term.

The Governing Council approved the appointment at a meeting on June 27. Effective July 1, 2024, Johnston’s appointment will run until December 31, 2029, and includes a six-month administrative leave.

A professor in the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, Johnston has been serving as acting U of T vice-president and principal of U of T Scarborough since January 1, 2024, during which time she has won the respect and support of the campus’s leadership team and broader community.

“Professor Johnston has demonstrated a genuine passion for and dedication to U of T Scarborough,” President Meric Gertler said. “She brings a depth of experience to this important role and is committed to implementing and building on the clear vision established by the U of T Scarborough community under the leadership of outgoing Vice-President and Principal Wisdom Tettey.

“I’m delighted to welcome her to the vice-presidential team.”

Johnston said she has a deep appreciation for the comprehensive nature of U of T Scarborough and is looking forward to continuing to work closely with the UTSC community.

“I have been tremendously impressed by the scale and rigour of U of T Scarborough’s academic mission and the commitment to student success,” Johnston said.

“U of T Scarborough continues to advocate for, and achieve, the goals of promoting health and wellbeing, environmental sustainability, and inclusive excellence in teaching and learning; research prominence; and community engagement.” 

Johnston has also been highly engaged in the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health, which is slated to launch in 2026 and will play an important role in helping to build better and more inclusive health care in Scarborough and eastern Toronto, said Vice-President and Provost Trevor Young

Young pointed out that, during her tenure as dean of the Faculty of Nursing from August 2014 to December 2023, Johnston fostered and promoted excellence at all levels of the faculty, which currently ranks first in Canada and fifth in the world in the QS University Rankings by Subject.

“Professor Johnston also positioned the Faculty of Nursing as a central player in Toronto’s Academic Health Science Network, created new collaborations with our partner hospitals and cultivated international partnerships with peer institutions,” Young said.

Johnston previously led the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s University Belfast, where she significantly enhanced teaching quality, research output and international partnerships. She is globally recognized for her contributions to nursing and patient care and holds honorary and visiting professorships at top institutions in Australia, China and Hong Kong.

She earned her PhD and bachelor of science from the University of Sydney. She completed her undergraduate nursing education in the United States and has extensive experience working in neonatal intensive care in the U.S., Australia and the Middle East. 

Johnston will be taking a planned leave from July 1, 2024 to Sept. 30, 2024, during which time Professor Bill Gough will serve as acting vice-president, U of T, and principal, U of T Scarborough. He currently serves as acting vice-principal, academic and dean, at U of T Scarborough.