In this role, Dr. Airini will be the senior academic, planning and budget officer at USask. Working with colleges and schools, Dr. Airini will lead the development of an academic agenda that is connected to the university’s financial realities in order to give students an outstanding experience at USask.
“It is a genuine honour to join President Stoicheff’s leadership team in this critical role,” said Dr. Airini, who has a PhD from the University of British Columbia, an MBA from Massey University and a Master of Education from the University of Canterbury. “The achievements by USask, one of Canada’s top research-intensive universities, are exceptional. At a time when all universities are experiencing the headwinds of change, USask is redefining what it means to be a world-class university; and one that leads with respect. I very much look forward to working with the entire USask community in this vital effort.”
A highly accomplished education researcher, educator and administrator, Dr. Airini’s current research explores how education can help build a more equitable society for all. Her award-winning research and development initiatives in Canada and internationally have directly shaped universities and 21st century education systems to close achievement gaps at school and post-secondary levels.
Prior to taking up her current role as dean of the Faculty of Education and Social Work at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in 2014, Dr. Airini held a variety of posts at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education. At New Zealand’s highest ranked research university (ranked in the top one per cent of universities worldwide), her roles included head of the interdisciplinary School of Critical Studies in Education, associate dean of equity and advisor to governments.
A Fulbright Scholar in 2014 at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Dr. Airini examined how education policy can change results for under-served students in higher education. At TRU, a specialist in virtual learning and internationally recognized for environmental sustainability, Dr. Airini has led pan-university initiatives delivering on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
“USask is proud to have Dr. Airini join our senior leadership team,” said Peter Stoicheff, USask president and vice-chancellor and chair of the search committee. “She is passionate about post-secondary education, and I look forward to her exceptional academic and administrative records helping move USask forward on its commitment to be the university the world needs.”