Bio (Mary Bernard)

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Mary Bernard

Mary Bernard


Professor and Program Head


Interdisciplinary Studies


As a senior academic administrator and professor, Mary Bernard’s decades-long career includes the role of founding associate vice-president research as well as acting as dean for both the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences and the Faculty of Management. She is a professor in the Doctor of Social Sciences program, which she helped develop. Bernard has presented at the Oxford Futures Forums and the Oxford Social Economy Conferences on her research interests which include: action learning and action research, the social engagement of the social scientist, interdisciplinarity, chaos theory, social and organizational change, systems thinking, futures studies and social ecology. 


Bernard served for 17 years as associate vice-president research and faculty affairs at Royal Roads, reporting to the vice-president academic. She was responsible for providing strategic and operational leadership of research as well as faculty member relations undertaken by the university. Her roles included: strategic planning, faculty affairs, research policies, research funding, external representation and liaison, partnership promotion, research collaboration, research centre development and research services. Bernard worked at York University for two decades in various roles including: coordinator for action learning resources, research coordinator of Native/Canadian relations centre, manager of research and external relations and the York Centre for Applied Sustainability. As faculty in the Faculty of Environmental studies and the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Bernard was the primary supervisor or supervisory committee member for more than 300 graduate students.


Bernard holds a PhD (Sociology) from York University (1998) where she wrote her dissertation, “New Forms of Coherence: The Theory and Facilitation of Organizational Change from the Perspective of the Eric Trist and Ilya Prigogine Schools of Thought.” Bernard also holds a Master in Environmental Studies from York University (1980) with social policy and planning for human services as her area of concentration. Her major paper was titled “The Effects of Doctors Opting Out of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan on Ontario's Elderly.” Bernard has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology from the University of New Brunswick (1977).