NU announces new decanal appointments

It is my pleasure to announce the following academic administrative appointments on behalf of the University: 

  • Dr. Nathan Colborne has been appointed Dean, Arts and Science for a five-year term, effective July 1.  
  • Dr. Dan Walters has been appointed Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, for a three-year term, beginning July 1. 
  • Dr. Jane Barker has been appointed Interim Associate Dean, Arts and Science for a one-year term, beginning July 1.  

Please join me in congratulating Drs. Colborne, Walters, and Barker on their appointments. I look forward to collaborating with them to continue to advance Nipissing’s academic priorities. 

You can learn more about each of them and the wealth of experience they bring to their respective roles in the bios below.  

Let me take this opportunity to thank the search committee members who made the process of selection rigorous and rewarding. 


Dr. Ann-Barbara Graff 
Provost and Vice-President, Academic 

Headshot of Dr. Nathan Colborne

Dr. Nathan Colborne - Dean, Arts and Science 

Dr. Nathan Colborne joined Nipissing University in 2005 and is an Associate Professor of Religions and Cultures. He brings a variety of administrative experience to the role, including having served as Interim Associate Dean of Arts and Science at Nipissing for the past year. Prior to that, Dr. Colborne was Chair of the Religions and Cultures Department from 2010-11 and 2014-16. 

Dr. Colborne holds a PhD in Religious Studies from McMaster University, MA in Religion and Culture from Wilfrid Laurier University, and BA in Political Science and Religious Studies from the University of British Columbia. His research interests centre around the philosophy of religion and the impact of religion on political and social organization. 

Dr. Colborne has an exceptional record of service to the institution, most notably, serving as Senate Speaker from 2015-16 and again from 2019-2021. 

Headshot of Dr. Dan Walters

Dr. Dan Walters - Associate Dean, Graduate Studies 

Dr. Dan Walters joined NU in 2004 as an Assistant Professor of Geography and became a Full Professor in 2018. He has held several administrative roles including, most recently, Interim Dean of Arts and Science for the past 18 months. Before that, he served as Associate Dean of Arts and Science for two and a half years.  

Dr. Walters earned a PhD in Geography, MA in Geography, and BA in Natural Resource Management, all from Western University.  

His research focuses on water policy and management, including First Nations drinking water and wastewater risk, agricultural drainage and wetland protection, nutrient management decision support tools, and harmful algal bloom risk management. Dr. Walters has been an applicant on numerous Tri-Agency and other research grants, and has supervised 45 undergraduate and graduate students. 

Headshot of Dr. Jane Barker

Dr. Jane Barker - Associate Dean, Arts & Science (Interim) 

Dr. Jane Barker is a Professor in the School of Criminal Justice. She joined Nipissing University in 2003 as an Assistant Professor, earning Full Professor status in 2020. She brings a substantial record of service to the position and was Chair of the School of Criminal Justice from 2007 to 2011 and 2012 to 2019. 

Dr. Barker holds a PhD and MA in Psychology from Queen’s University and a BA (Hons) in Psychology from McMaster University. 

Dr. Barker has extensive experience working with individuals who have come in conflict with the law, having worked in a number of Federal Correctional Institutions. She has been a co-investigator on numerous externally-funded research grants and has edited a textbook entitled, Women and the Criminal Justice System: A Canadian Perspective, which has been adopted by several universities and colleges across Canada. Dr. Barker was also the co-editor of the second and third editions of the book, the latest of which was published in 2023.