VIU Welcomes New Dean of Social Sciences

October 4, 2017 - 10:45am

Dr. Elizabeth Brimacombe ready to take on important academic leadership role with the University

Vancouver Island University (VIU) is pleased to announce Dr. Elizabeth Brimacombe has accepted the role of Dean, Social Sciences. Brimacombe brings 25 years of experience in post-secondary education in BC and a strong background in research and administration to this key VIU role.

“I am excited to contribute to the positivity, collegiality and thoughtful attention to student engagement and success that reverberate throughout this remarkable place of higher learning,” she says.

Brimacombe comes to VIU from the University of Victoria (UVic), where she was an instructional faculty member in the Psychology Department. Her teaching leadership experience includes sessional instructor support, workshop creation and regular practice serving as a teaching mentor. She was a member of the steering committee and a volunteer instructor in a community outreach program offering free non-credit university courses to people who have faced barriers to accessing post-secondary.

With research expertise in social psychology in legal contexts, Brimacombe has published numerous articles, book chapters and reviews. As a member of a committee appointed by the American Psychology/Law Society, she prepared a white paper reviewing the scientific evidence on eyewitness identification and describing rules for how police lineups should be conducted. The committee co-authored a paper published in Law and Human Behavior in 1998.

Brimacombe has received multiple funding grants and 12 research grants. She brings a passion for the power of university communities to influence people in positive ways to her current position.

“In life’s drama, I see my central role as brightening the lives of others,” she says. “I am most happy and fulfilled when I know that I have supported others in becoming confident, curious, life-embracing individuals.”

Her experience serving two consecutive five-year terms as UVic’s Department Chair of Psychology, the largest unit in UVic’s Faculty of Social Sciences, highlights her extensive administrative experience. As Chair, Brimacombe’s work included service on more than 17 committees, a review of her department’s curriculum, generation of teaching partnerships among faculty members, and work on outreach and community engagement events.

Brimacombe holds a PhD in Social Psychology from Iowa State University, an MA in Social Psychology from the University of Alberta and a BA in Psychology from St. Francis Xavier University.  

Reporting to VIU’s Provost and VP Academic, Brimacombe will provide leadership and oversight to the academic quality and integrity of all educational, scholarly and outreach activities of the Faculty of Social Sciences and its diverse array of degree and diploma programs. In her spare time, Brimacombe can be found volunteering for the YMCA or involved in a community theatre production.


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