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Leadership Team

LA&PS Dean

J.J. McMurtry

I’m delighted to welcome our new and returning students to our extraordinary Faculty! In LA&PS, we deliver world-class programs and courses taught by the very best professors, and we enrich the student experience with life-changing international study opportunities and ground-breaking co-ops. There is so much to discover at York. Here, you can chart your own path forward.

About the Dean

Since 2018, J.J. McMurtry has been the Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies at York University, one of the largest and most diverse faculties in Canada. The Faculty is comprised of approximately 700 full-time faculty members, 300 staff, and more than 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Professor McMurtry is also a professor in the Department of Social Science and a member of the Faculty’s Business & Society (BUSO) program.  He holds MA and PhD degrees in social and political thought from York University.  Professor McMurtry’s research and teaching interests focus on the theory and practice of alternative social, political and economic forms including social enterprises, co-operatives and non-profit organizations. His publications include over 25 solo and co-authored articles and book chapters, and he is editor of the books Living Economics: Canadian Perspectives on the Social Economy, Co-operatives and Community Economic Development as well as Co-operatives in a Global Economy. In addition, he was English language editor of the Canadian Journal of Non-Profit and Social Economy Research for over three years and has won numerous awards for his teaching, research and community engagement.

Invite the Dean

Would you like the dean to attend an event you are hosting? Where possible, please consult with Debra Bisram at regarding the Dean's availability before solidifying the date of your event, and prior to submitting your request.

Dean’s Circle of Student Scholars

The highest-achieving students in the Faculty of LA&PS are given the opportunity to become more engaged in the York community and develop leadership skills as part of the Dean’s Circle of Student Scholars. You’re automatically invited to the Dean’s Circle if you are a high school student who with an average of 90% or higher or a current student enrolled in 12 credits or more and maintaining at least an overall 8.0 GPA.

Read more about the Dean's Circle of Student Scholars

Associate Deans

Maggie Quirt profile photo

Maggie Quirt
Associate Dean, Programs

Professor Quirt is a former chair of the LA&PS Academic Policy and Planning Committee (APPC), and the LA&PS Committee on Curriculum, Curricular Policy, and Standards (CCPS), and is a member of the Indigenous Council Curriculum Development Subcommittee. She also served as Undergraduate Program Director in the Department of Equity Studies from 2020-21. In addition to her service to the University, she was a member of the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Race Relations for the City of Markham from 2010-2016, and currently serves on the Harmony and Peacebuilding Advisory Group, a committee of York Region residents. Her research explores political apologies, commemoration, and reparations in settler state Canada.

Photo of M. J. (Maria João) Maciel Jorge Associate Dean, Global & Community Engagement

M. J. (Maria João) Maciel Jorge 
Associate Dean, Global & Community Engagement

Professor M. J. Maciel Jorge is a leader on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. As chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics, she led collaborative efforts to create global-minded curricula, combining languages skills with intercultural competence for international careers in multicultural environments.  

A first-generation scholar, Professor Maciel Jorge immigrated to Canada from the Azores in 1989. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto, and her research and publications include both Spanish and Portuguese early modern literatures as well as colonial and new world encounters, and Portuguese island culture and literature.   
Professor Maciel Jorge has served in various capacities in the Portuguese community, from member of the advisory council for the consulate of Portugal in Toronto to more recently as member of the committee leading the 70th anniversary of the celebrations regarding the arrival of the Portuguese immigrants in Canada. 

Neil Buckley profile photo

Neil Buckley
Associate Dean, Teaching & Learning

Professor Buckley is an associate professor with the department of Economics. He is well known to LA&PS staff and students, having served as the Undergraduate Program Director with the department for more than a decade. He holds an MA in Economics from Queen’s University and a PhD in Economics from McMaster University. Prof. Buckley is passionate about student success and has been an integral part of early alert programs for at-risk students. He is committed to leading and supporting student retention for his department and for LA&PS. He has collaborated on important projects like Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) and the Student Numeracy Assistance Centre at Keele (SNACK). His research interest focuses on topics where private and public goods intersect, including empirical investigations of public and private health care financing and the tragedy of the commons.

profile photo of Michelle Johnson

Michele Johnson
Associate Dean, Students

Professor Johnson holds a BA. Hons, M.Phil. (U.W.I.), M.A and Ph.D. in History from Johns Hopkins University and has taught in the Department of History at York University since July 2002. Prior to teaching at York, Professor Johnson taught at the University of West Indies (Mona) from 1994 – 2002. She has served the York community in a variety of capacities, including as the coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Programme, as York’s affirmative action officer, and as the director of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas (2013-2018). Her research interests and publications reflect Jamaican cultural history, and the histories of gender relations, race/racialization, labour, domestic slavery, and domestic service in Jamaica and Canada.

Photo of Ravi de Costa Associate Dean, Research & Graduate Studies

Ravi de Costa
Associate Dean, Research & Graduate Studies

Professor de Costa emigrated to Canada from Australia in 2002 to take up a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition at McMaster University. Prior to joining York in 2007, he also taught at Trent University in the Department of Political Studies. He is an active member of the York community, as Chair of the President’s Sustainability Council, and acting director of Las Nubes Project. His work has focused on the institutional and cultural contexts of Indigenous-settler relations in Australia and Canada, with publications on treaty-making processes, and on truth and reconciliation. He has held three Social Science and Humanities Research Council Standard (SSHRC) grants to examine the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

David Mutimer profile photo

David Mutimer
Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs

Professor Mutimer holds a BA. Hons, M.A and Ph.D. in Political Science, is a professor of International Politics, and was most recently Chair of the Department of Politics at York University. His research considers issues of contemporary international security through critical social theory, and investigates the reproduction of international politics in popular culture. Much of that work has focused on weapons proliferation as a reconfigured security concern in the post-Cold War era, and has tried to open possibilities for alternative means of thinking about the security problems related to arms more generally. More recently, he has turned his attention to the politics of militarization in Canadian society as a cause and consequence of the wars we have joined in the past twenty years.