University of the Fraser Valley

Dr. Lara Duke named new UFV Dean of Health Sciences

Dr. Lara Duke named new UFV Dean of Health Sciences

Dr. Lara Duke has been selected as UFV’s new Dean of Health Sciences.

Dr. Duke joins UFV on Sept. 1 after serving four years as Capilano University’s Dean of Global and Community Studies — which includes the schools of Kinesiology, Outdoor Recreation Management, Tourism Management, and Public Administration. She holds an EdD from Western University (Educational Leadership in Higher Education), MSc from the University of Florida, and BSc from Furman University.

“We’re very excited to welcome Dr. Duke to UFV’s Faculty of Health Sciences,” says Tracy Ryder Glass, UFV’s Acting Provost & Vice President Academic.

“She combines values-based relational approaches with excellent organizational skills, diplomacy, and integrity that seamlessly align with UFV’s mission of engaging learners, transforming lives, and building community.”

Having worked in BC’s public post-secondary system for nearly 20 years, Duke was eager to apply for the dean’s role after being inspired by UFV’s Iyaqawtxw integrated strategic plan and strategic enrollment plan.

“Integrating everyone’s perspectives and strengths through a foundation of common humanity lifts all of us,” she explains.

“I realize there are multiple dimensions of diversity and that each of us has different needs to enhance our feeling of belonging in social spaces.”

Born in Virginia and raised in Kentucky, Duke has dual citizenship through her marriage to husband Kelly – the director of facilities capital planning at Fraser Health.

“Through our conversations about his work and my own work in post-secondary, I have a passenger-seat perspective to the challenges and opportunities emerging for health care and ideas for the future of health sciences education,” she says.

Duke plans a comprehensive approach with UFV’s Health Sciences, an inclusive effort she sees growing through the understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing, holistic health care practices, and the province’s StrongerBC plan.

“At UFV, it’s important for me to honour and continue the great work of the Faculty and over time build in quality improvement cycles for the programming to support a skilled work force through educated citizenry in health care across all sectors of our province.”

Examples of Duke’s accomplishments in her previous role include: revising faculty bylaws and committee structure; implementing a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree; co-creating with staff and faculty a draft Faculty Indigenous plan; and leading the expansion and funding proposal of a university-wide work-integrated learning unit.

“I’m happy to do the heavy lifting and know when to ask for help when it’s needed,” she says.

Prior to joining Capilano, Duke was the Sports Science (SPSC) department chair for Douglas College and SPSC Liaison to British Columbia Association of Kinesiologists.

A former competitive cheerleader and walk-on university track athlete, Duke still enjoys running, along with hiking, paddle boarding, skiing, reading, and knitting. She and Kelly recently started playing pickleball when not spending time with their two sons, aged 15 and 17.