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Office of the President

Portrait of Steven Murphy

Dr. Steven Murphy has served as the fourth President and Vice-Chancellor of Ontario Tech University since March 1, 2018. He was reappointed by the university’s Board of Governors to a second five-year term, effective July 1, 2023.

His vision centres on ‘tech with a conscience’: finding ethical solutions to problems in our tech-focused world. This philosophy carries over into reimagining flexible learning in a manner that best serves the needs of both traditional and mature learners.   

Dr. Murphy’s bold approach is represented by a youthful and energetic new university brand. He champions student-led initiatives that increase engagement on campus. He actively encourages students to embrace collaboration, with a focus on innovations that improve society and our planet.

Dr. Murphy strongly believes that if we are to unleash our global competitive advantage, we will need to engage Canadians from often-marginalized, equity-deserving groups in meaningful, entrepreneurial pursuits. He advances the university’s mission of increased inclusivity and accessibility through key initiatives that place diversity at the centre of programming. For example, the entrepreneurial incubator Brilliant Catalyst works with federal, provincial and municipal counterparts to ensure that Black and Indigenous youth and students receive access to entrepreneurial networks. Dr. Murphy believes diversity is the key to Canada’s competitive future. At Ontario Tech we are seeing the results of this approach.

As the president of one of Canada’s most dynamic universities, Dr. Murphy recognized Ontario Tech’s broad range of energy-related expertise, which allowed him to drive the creation of the Brilliant Energy Institute, a multidisciplinary facility tasked with building the scientific plan to get us to net zero.

Dr. Murphy reimagines higher education to support the kind of flexible, individual pursuit of learning that will fuel Canada's knowledge economy. As a result, Ontario Tech has become an early leader in developing micro-credentials: short, accredited online programs that represent new learning in a specific study field, topic or competency. In 2021, the university founded Ontario Tech Talent, a stand-alone subsidiary, poised to challenge traditional academic approaches to modular learning.

Renowned for his organizational and human behaviour expertise across business and industry, Dr. Murphy brings this experience to guide his leadership strategy. Notably, his dedication to equity, diversity and inclusiveness underscores every facet of how he lives his personal and professional life. Beyond the lenses of race and gender, he embraces diversity of thoughts and ideas.

As Dean of the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), Dr. Murphy transformed the school's brand, established novel interdisciplinary programs, and advanced innovative and entrepreneurial co‐op opportunities for students. Previously, he spent more than a decade in progressive academic leadership roles at Carleton University's Sprott School of Business, as Associate Dean, Research and External. He holds an esteemed record of academic achievement awards for his work examining the role of emotions in strategic decision‐making, for his administrative leadership and participation in boards, and for his insightful approach to student‐driven teaching.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) in Human Resource Management, a Master of Management Studies (with Distinction) in the Management of Technology, and a PhD in Organizational Behaviour from Carleton University.

Dr. Murphy serves the broader community of academics and research at the provincial and national level. He has been appointed member of the National Research Council Canada for two consecutive terms since June 2019. He serves as Co-Chair of eCampusOntario, and as a member of the Council of Ontario Universities on its Executive Committee, Strategic Planning Committee and as Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. His appointment to the Education Committee of Universities Canada shows recognition at a national level for his work on digital, inclusive pedagogy. As Chair of the Board for Ontario University Athletics, and as a member of the national board of USPORTS Canada, he is able to translate his passion for athletics into championing diversity and promoting sport as social glue to achieve more-cohesive communities.