Douglas Deutschman

Introduction from the dean

My name is Douglas Deutschman and I’m the new dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. I want to introduce myself and thank y’all for making me feel so welcome here. I’ve only been here for four months, but I’ve already met a lot of passionate, talented and accomplished graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

I was born on the south (wrong?) side of Lake Erie (Cleveland, Ohio) but did my Master’s degree in Statistics on the north side at the University of Waterloo. I received my PhD in Ecology from Cornell University before taking a job in San Diego. Returning to the Kitchener/Waterloo region after a 29-year absence was exciting. The area has grown tremendously, but it still has the same friendly and open vibe. It also has seasons! I haven’t experienced a real winter since Jean Chrétien was Prime Minister.

I came to Laurier after spending 20 years as a professor in the Biology Department at San Diego State University (SDSU). My favorite thing about being a professor there was working with graduate students. At SDSU, I supervised 25 Master's students and four PhD students. I also served on 45 other graduate committees and participated in 25 PhD exams.

In addition to my work in Biology, I was elected to the SDSU Senate for six years and ultimately served as Senate Chair. I moved from Senate Chair to become associate dean for the College of Sciences. The College is comprised of 170 tenure/tenure-track faculty in eight departments. In a typical year, the College awards around 1,000 bachelors, 300 Master's and 35 PhD degrees. 

As dean, it is very hard to get to know what it’s like to be a graduate student at Laurier while sitting in my office. For me to be effective, I need to get to know the real experience of Laurier graduate students. About three weeks after I arrived, I decided that I would host a monthly lunch (at Wilf’s, my treat) with five or six randomly selected graduate students. So, if you get an email out of the blue inviting you to “lunch with the dean,” please say yes! These lunches have been both really fun and really helpful for me. I have heard about what makes Laurier great and what things are not so great.

Of course, you don’t have to wait for a lunch invitation from FGPS to talk to me.  If you need to discuss something, you can reach me at

Kudos to anyone who made it to this point in the 420-word spiel :-)