Dr. Tracy Ryder Glass has joined UFV as the Dean of the Faculty of Professional Studies, replacing Dr. Rosetta Khalideen, who served in the role for six years.
The Faculty of Professional Studies is comprised of the School of Business, the School of Social Work and Human Services, and other departments and programs including Teacher Education, Adult Education, Aviation, Library and Information Technology, and Child, Youth, and Family Studies.
Prior to joining UFV, Dr. Ryder Glass was an associate dean with the Business School at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario.
She holds undergraduate degrees in sociology, criminology, education and law, as well as a Master of Law and a PhD in theory and policy studies from the University of Toronto.
Dr. Ryder Glass has woven a theme of teaching, coaching, and mentoring into her career as she filled posts ranging from modelling instructor to probation officer, to high school teacher, to private practice lawyer to crown counsel lawyer, to post-secondary instructor and administrator.
Throughout her career, her focus has always been on equity and conflict resolution as it relates to education.
“Anyone who goes to school as long as I did has to love education,” she notes. “Along the way my focus has been on providing the best possible experience to students and other young clients in a variety of contexts. Conflict resolution has also played a large role in several of my positions.”
She notes that her progression to post-secondary administrator grew out of her commitment to teaching, curriculum development, and mentoring other faculty.
Her doctoral studies were influenced by her leadership role at Humber College, and focused on how global change is affecting the higher education field, and whether or not post-secondary institutions are meeting the needs of an increasingly ethnically diverse student body.
“One of my findings was that generally students do not care about ethnicity of faculty or whether their own ethnicity is reflected within the faculty ranks, as long as their professors help them learn. We are all there to help students succeed.”
Dr. Ryder Glass completed her PhD in the midst of two pregnancies and the infant and toddler years of her young sons, both of whom attended her graduation ceremony.
“What I learned from that experience is the more you take on the more you do!” she notes.
Dr. Ryder Glass says that she is a fan of the teaching-focused university model embraced by UFV, including the smaller classes and hands-on experiences offered to students.
“Helping students succeed is pivotal. For some, that’s defined as passing a course; for others, achieving the highest possible grade.”
Having come from an institution with an extremely varied ethnic and cultural profile amongst the student body, Dr. Ryder Glass says she is looking forward to learning more about the UFV student population, and in particular finding out more about local Indigenous culture and history.
She says that her immediate goal is to understand what is important to stakeholders within the Faculty of Professional Studies. Her long-term goal is to help students become successful graduates who have had the opportunity to build connections at the university and in the community.
As a former world champion in solo 24-hour mountain bike racing, and mountain bike coach with the Fly Gurlz, Canada’s first all-female mountain bike team, she credits her involvement with sport for giving her the confidence to pursue her goals.
“As a mountain bike coach, I have helped both young girls and women in their 40s and 50s experience mountain biking for the first time. It’s about more than just biking. It’s about building confidence and community outreach.”
After a cross-Canada journey, she and her family have settled in Abbotsford and look forward to the recreational opportunities that British Columbia has to offer.