CapU Welcomes New Dean of Business and Professional Studies

Laura Kinderman is thrilled to be here

Bridget Stringer-Holden (she/her) // News Editor
Freya Emery (she/her) // Illustrator

Laura Kinderman was drawn to Capilano University for its approach to teaching and learning after spending 15 years at Queen’s University in Ontario.

At Queen’s, Kinderman worked in a variety of teaching, research and administrative roles. Her work spans multiple departments, from her time leading a new initiative in health sciences to her assistant dean position in the faculty of law.

Kinderman finds the Faculty of Business and Professional Studies—which includes the school of Communication Studies, Business and Legal Studies—an incredibly unique fit for her. “My background combines a PhD in English, which is a synergy with communications; an executive MBA, which synergizes with business; and significant experience working with legal professionals in the Faculty of Law, which connects to legal studies,” she said.

Recruited by an executive search firm, her first official day on campus was October 23 and she relocated to B.C. the week of October 16.

Now heading into her third week at CapU, Kinderman is enjoying North Vancouver. She finds it inspirational to be surrounded by trees, knowing the mountains and ocean are closeby. 

“It’s been a really wonderful start, incredible people, a wonderful faculty, amazing students that I’ve interacted with so far,” Kinderman shared. “I’m very happy to hear from students about their interests and concerns—working with students is one of my favourite parts of the role.”

Most of her time has been spent attending meetings and getting to know CapU’s systems and structures, but she sees great teaching and learning potential, including opportunities for applied research, work integrated learning, and career readiness. 

Her first all-faculty meeting was on November 2. It was a chance for her to meet everyone, but also say goodbye to Dennis Silvestrone, the outgoing Dean, on his last day.

“There are a lot of dedicated people who are interested in improving from where we are,” Kinderman said. “And I don’t mean improving in the sense of there’s something wrong that we need to fix—I mean improving in that we’re thinking about the landscape and what lies ahead and trying to be as responsible and accountable as we can in envisioning that—flexibility is the new mode for uncertainty.”

While she wishes there were more hours in a day, she hasn’t encountered any major challenges thus far. “I want to learn quickly but learn well, at the same time, so that I’m properly attuned to all the richness of opportunities that this place holds” she added. “Really, one of the critical questions is, how do we think about positioning these unique education opportunities in their own right, as opposed to looking to compete with other institutions in the B.C. scene? It’s a distinctive institution in a unique, wonderful, and special place, and so I’m just thrilled to be a part of that.”

Kinderman plans to continue asking herself questions such as: “Where is education going? How can we continue to innovate? How can we position our students to be really successful contributors to society, in the spaces and places that they choose, and with the unique pathways that they pursue? How can we work together—from an individual, to a departmental, to a faculty level—the most effectively? How can we be the most inclusive and equitable community?”

She encourages students to reach out to her by visiting her on the third floor of Cedar (CE372A), emailing, or calling her office at 604 984 4988.

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