Meet UOIT’s new top dog

The new president of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology wants to ensure the final word in the school’s name continues to be its focus.

The board of governors chose Dr.Stephen Murphy to replace Dr. Tim McTiernan, who has served for the last six years. Murphy officially took office on March 1.

Murphy says he sees himself as a mentor and a coach for the university and wants to make sure technology is being utilized in all programs.

“I’d like to see us accelerate in terms of how every faculty views what they’re doing in a lens of technology,” says Murphy. “We really should be producing the best teachers who are able to use the latest technologies.”

Murphy has spent the last four years as the dean of the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University and five years as an associate professor for Carleton University. Murphy has published more than 100 academic papers.

Murphy says after talking to students and alumni, many of them indicated the one-on-one experience with the professors is a major strength for the university.

“I think that’s a huge strength,” says Murphy. “We have to make sure we preserve it.”

UOIT’s campus partner is hoping to build his one-on-one relationship with Murphy.

“Anytime somebody new comes, they come with an energy and a vision and I look forward to seeing where he wants to take the university and how we can be part of it,” says Don Lovisa, president of DC.  “I’ve worked with two presidents now– this will be my thirds one. And they’re all different.”

“Steven has a great track record at Ryerson,” says Lovisa.

Murphy says the greatest challenge facing students is how to positively use social media.

He says older students have the maturity to understand what people put on social media is just a “snapshot” of their life that they’ve chosen to show, younger students don’t realize this.

Murphy says some younger students see what others are doing on social media and think to themselves, “Geez, my life isn’t like that.”

Murphy says going forward it is important for faculty to talk about the benefits of social media, but also the negative aspects of it. He says things were different for him when he was a student.

“Sure, there was expectations in my life but I didn’t have to worry about social media on top of things.”

Murphy says young people are pressured too early. He says not enough people are saying to young people, “it’s OK.”

“You can learn and you can fail,” says Murphy.

“You’re going to have many jobs and you’re going to be able to pivot many times, and you can take many different degrees and you don’t have to know everything at 18.”