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Mary E. Ferguson, B.A, M.P.A.

A strong senior leader experienced in a research and academic environment with excellent analytical, interpretive and evaluative skills, a broad knowledge of operational structures and a clear understanding of healthy work environments, team building, and performance excellence.

Areas of Expertise    
Strategic Planning Leadership Program Evaluation
Financial Management Risk Management Compliance
Systems Development Operations Research Administration
Organizational Development    

Professional Employment  
Consulting Solutions (owner)  
    Consultant - Lawson Research Institute July 2008 - current
The University of Western Ontario  
    Managing Director - Research Development &     Services March 2002 - June 2008
    Manager, Research Accounting & CFI Account     Administrator March 1996 - February 2002
    Manager, Fees & Receivables May 1989 - February 1996
    Financial Analyst (Operating Units) Prior 1989
    Financial Officer (Research Accounting)  
    Assistant Financial Analyst (Ancillary & support     Units)  
    Training & Orientation (Human Resources)  

Key Accomplishments
Strategic Planning
  • Initiated and developed an overall strategy for the pre-post award management of the Canada Foundation for Innovation major infrastructure awards;
  • Defined an overall framework for the identification and control of high risk research projects;
  • Led the planning and execution of the Robarts’ records merger into Western;
  • Initiated and led the merger of three student focused independent units into a “one-stop” shop for student administrative services;
  • Established appropriate and effective policies, legal and ethical accountability in support of research activity.

Financial Management

  • Developed annual and multi-year budgets allocating resources creatively and with a focus on the overall portfolio objectives;
  • Became recognized for fair and responsible fiscal management within the research and academic community.


  • Developed service orientated policies and processes to support all clients (Funding Agencies, Researchers, Students, Western);
  • Established collaborative partnerships through openness, honesty, and collaboration;
  • Recruited, hired, mentored and developed professional level staff ;
  • Promoted ethical and integrity standards in the conduct of work;
  • Provided advice and support to VP’s, AVP’s, Deans, Associate Deans, Chairs, Academics, Researchers, Directors, and multiple levels of Administrative staff;
  • Proactive member and participant on university wide committees, e.g.: Steering Committee for new Services Building, Business Continuity Planning, Western Information Security Group, University Research Board;
  • Promoted the uniqueness of research administration within a growing and complex academic environment, e.g.: new faculty orientations, new Research Western web site;
  • Contributed to the external research community though participation as a pilot institution for online applications, feedback questionnaires, and sitting on external committees;
  • Led by example through educational development, service focus, and teamwork.

Project Management/System Development

  • Initiated an innovative electronic approval process for grant and contract applications, which researchers could access anywhere, anytime;
  • Championed and conceptually created a state of the art pre-post award system development project;
  • Introduced a project management process into strategic, high risk, and international research projects;
  • Investigated and instigated technological change and office automation;
  • Introduced efficient processes through system development projects for example: initiated the bank payment process for all student fees;
  • Led renovation and the physical relocation of six offices within last three positions.

Education & Professional Development
The University of Western Ontario, M.P.A., 2003
The University of Western Ontario, B.A., 1997
Fanshawe College , Business Certificate, 1982
Registered Management Accountant program 3rd level, 1980

Toastmasters International member 2008, Project Management 2008, Alternative Dispute Resolution 2008, Communicating in Conflict 2008, DRI – Business Continuity Planning 2007, French Level 1, 2007
Other: FIPPA. WHMIS 2006, University Management Course, (U of Manitoba), Computer Programs MS Office, Simply Accounting, Search engines, PeopleSoft (Financials, HR, Student Records, Research, system query tools) Human dynamics, TQS training

Community Services
United Way · co-chaired Western’s annual campaign (2 years), · member Planning & Allocations Committee, Envelope Chair (10 years), · member External Review Committee (2 years)
UNICEF and The London Food Bank - 12 years running a special fundraising event

Special Interests & Hobbies
Launched a federally incorporated small business, which required the analysis of market trends, competitors and the development of a financial and human resource plan – 2006.

Sailing, home renovations, cottage building, scuba diving, dog walking

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