Dr. Leo Groarke

Prior to joining Trent University, Dr. Groarke gained extensive executive experience at two major post-secondary institutions. He recently served as Vice President, Academic and Provost at University of Windsor, a 16,000 student comprehensive university. In his role there, Dr. Groarke has had valuable experience in virtually all aspects of university operations, including government and community relations.  At Laurier he spearheaded the development of a new and highly successful campus in Brantford, Ontario that, in partnership with the city, revitalized the downtown.

Dr. Groarke has led wide-ranging organizational transformation. At Brantford, he oversaw growth in student enrolment from an original cohort of 40 students to more than 2,000. At Windsor, this included the restructuring of recruitment and domestic and international admissions to promote enrolment growth; and many initiatives in teaching and learning. The latter include an Office of Open Learning; Teaching Leadership Chairs; a Provost's Committee on Teaching and Learning; a new partnership between Windsor's Centre for Teaching and Learning and Faculty of Education; and a major international forum on the future of university teaching. In 2014, the Organization of Part-time University Students at the University of Windsor awarded him the "OPUS Friend of Students Award."

In addition to an impressive array of senior administrative experience, Dr. Groarke’s academic credentials are extensive. He has studied at the University of Calgary, Simon Fraser University and the University of Helsinki and received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario in 1982.  He has decades of achievement and an international reputation in teaching, research, editorial board membership, conference and institute leadership, as well as authorship and editorial contributions to many critical notes, articles, journals and books. His areas of research and scholarly interest include ancient philosophy, higher education, the history of ideas, social and political thought, and "informal" logic. His most recent work examines the role of visual images in reasoning, argument and persuasion -- a role that is heightened in digital communication. His influential scholarship includes the book, Good Reasoning Matters!, co-edited with Christopher Tindale. He served as editor-in-chief of the journal, Windsor Studies in Argumentation. 


  • 2014 "Informal Logic to the Rescue? Politics and Logic in American Fiscal Debates." Cate Palczewski, ed. Disturbing Argument, New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis
  • 2011 "Logic, Informal," Stanford World Wide Web Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • 2010 Reinventing Brantford: A University Goes Downtown (Toronto: Natural Heritage Books, The Dundurn Group). 
  • 2009 Jan Sobocan and Leo Groarke, eds. Critical Thinking, Education and Assessment: How can we test higher order thinking? London, Ontario: The Althouse Press.
  • 2008 Leo Groarke and Christopher Tindale, Good Reasoning Matters! Revised 4th ed. (Toronto: Oxford University Press); 
  • 2007 David Birdsell & Leo Groarke, Guest Editors, Argumentation and Advocacy: The Journal of the American Forensic Association, Special Double Issue on Visual Argument, Vol. 43: Nos. 3&4 (Winter & Summer). 
  • 2006* Leo Groarke and Gary Warrick, “The Ethics of Stewardship,” in Chris Scarre and Geoffrey Scarre, eds. Ethics in the Field: Philosophical Perspectives on the Practice of Archaeology (Cambridge University Press). 
  • 2005* “Teaching History: The Future of the Past,” in Peter Farrugia, ed. The River of History: Trans-National and Trans-Disciplinary Perspectives on the Immanence of the Past. Calgary: University of Calgary Press. 
  • 2004 “Can Capitalism Save Itself? Some Ruminations on the End of Capitalism” In Tom Beauchamp and Norman Bowie, eds Ethical Theory and Business. 7th edition. New York: Prentice-Hall.
  • 2003* Michael A. Gilbert, Floriana Grasso, Leo Groarke, Corrin Gurr, Janne M. Gerlofs, ‘The Persuasion Machine,’ in Chris Reed, Timothy J. Norman, Argumentation Machines: New Frontiers in Argument and Computation (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers).
  • 2003* “Are Musical Arguments Possible?” Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Argumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat, 419-423.
  • 1990 Greek Scepticism: Anti-Realist Trends in Ancient Thought. Kingston, Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press. (McGill-Queen's Series in the History of Ideas) 176pp.

Ph. D. in Philosophy (University of Western Ontario)
M.A. in Philosophy (University of Calgary)
B.A. Honours in Philosophy (University of Calgary)



Trent University

2014 -

President & Vice-Chancellor

University of Windsor

 2010- 2014

Professor of Philosophy; Provost & Vice-President, Academic

Wilfrid Laurier University


2009-2010 Principal & Vice-President, Brantford Campus:


Provost & Vice-President, Academic (Acting)

2001-6, renewed 2006-9

Dean, Brantford Campus


Acting Dean, Brantford Campus


Assistant Dean (Program Development), Faculty of Arts & Science/ Arts


Chair, Philosophy Department


Full Professor, Department of Philosophy


Adjunct Professor, Religion & Culture M.A. Program


Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy


Cognate Faculty, English M.A. Program in Gender and Genre


Adjunct Faculty, Religion & Culture M.A. Program


Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy


Université canadienne en France, Nice: Instructor


An avid kayaker, Dr. Groarke frequently takes advantage of the proximity to water at Trent’s Peterborough and Oshawa campuses.