hero image
Olivia  Petrie - University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON, CA

Olivia Petrie Olivia  Petrie

Assistant Vice-President, Student Life | University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Oshawa, ON, CANADA

Policy and programs expert delivers comprehensive student life experience



Breaking the barriers of the traditional post-secondary experience, Olivia Petrie, Assistant Vice-President of Student Life at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), is focused on creating an inclusive environment where students can access all the services, programs and resources for success during their studies and beyond.

At UOIT, Petrie has developed an integrated approach to student life by bringing several key departments together including the Student Experience Centre, Career Centre, Student Learning Centre, Varsity Athletics, Student Accessibility Services, and Student Mental Health Services. She joined UOIT in October 2006 as Secretary of Academic Council, and in June 2012 she was also named Secretary of the Board of Governors; steering academic governance and developing policy processes before her current appointment in January 2013.

Her 30-year career in university administration began at York University where she spent more than two decades innovating policy and administration procedures with a profound integrity that culminated in her esteemed President’s Leadership Award in 2003. Petrie spent her first six years as a Student Affairs professional, and in 1990 she was appointed Policy Assistant, University Secretariat. In 1993, she was named Academic Policy Development Co-ordinator, Office of the Associate Vice-President, Faculty Affairs, then moved into the Policy and Planning Officer role in the Office of the Assistant Vice-President, Academic Resource Planning. In 1998, she was appointed Associate Director, Centre for the Support of Teaching and worked to transform curriculum design and delivery, and promote pedagogical innovation at all levels. Her vast policy and administrative experience at York provided the framework for the three principles that guide her vision of UOIT’s Student Life: engagement, integrity and inclusivity.

Petrie obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts with Specialized Honours in Visual Arts from York University, and her Bachelor of Education with an Honours Specialist Qualification in Visual Arts and Industrial Arts from the University of Toronto. Subsequently, she obtained her Master’s in Higher Education and Adult Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. While her advocacy of rigorous policies has enhanced the student experience for thousands; off campus, Petrie’s passion for the arts helps her serve on the board of directors of Oshawa's Robert McLaughlin Gallery.

Industry Expertise (5)

Corporate Leadership

Public Policy

Human Resources

Fine Art


Areas of Expertise (5)

Academic Affairs

Human Rights

Labour Relations

Policy Development

Student Affairs

Accomplishments (3)

Board of Governors, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (professional)


Durham Region's largest gallery, RMG is dedicated to sharing, exploring and engaging its communities through the continuing story of modern and contemporary Canadian art. RMG delivers creative education programs; hosts community events; and houses an art archive, library, and two art studios.

Assistant Vice-President, Student Life, UOIT (professional)


Petrie leads a team of student affairs experts in the development and implementation of services and programs support student success at UOIT from first-year orientation to career counselling.

President's Leadership Award (professional)


Petrie was nominated for this honour by her colleagues for her exceptional contributions to academic policy and administration at York University.

Education (3)

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto: MEd, Higher Education and Adult Education

University of Toronto: BEd, Honours Specialist Qualification in Visual Arts and Industrial Arts

York University: BFA, Specialized Honours in Visual Arts

Affiliations (1)

  • The Robert McLaughlin Gallery