Date: December 20, 2012
UVic Selects Its Next President After Extensive Search
The University of Victoria has selected Professor Jamie Cassels as its next president after an extensive search. The appointment was announced today by UVic Board of Governors Chair Susan Mehinagic.
Cassels, 56, is a legal scholar of international stature, a nationally-recognized master teacher and scholar, and a talented university administrator noted for his outstanding leadership and vision. He was vice-president academic and provost at UVic from 2001-2010, and before that, dean of law. His five-year term as president will begin July 1, 2013.
Cassels’ appointment received unanimous approval from the university’s board of governors. It was based on a unanimous recommendation by a 20-member search committee comprising representatives from a variety of university constituencies including the board, senate, the faculties, the graduate and undergraduate student societies, staff and the alumni association. He was chosen following a seven-month search process.
“We interviewed many exceptional candidates, but the committee was unanimous in its assessment that Jamie Cassels is uniquely qualified to lead the University of Victoria as its next president,” says Mehinagic. “He has a track record of outstanding leadership at this university, keen insight into the opportunities and challenges for UVic nationally and internationally, and the integrity, passion and vision to take us to the next level. We’re delighted that he has accepted the position.”
“I am incredibly excited about this opportunity,” says Cassels. “UVic has an international reputation as one of Canada’s finest research-intensive universities—indeed, among the best in the world. This is due to the efforts of its outstanding faculty, students, staff and leaders, and support from our donors, alumni, and our many public and private sector partners.
“We have a strong foundation on which to build. This is a time when the public truly values the contributions of universities, and has appropriately high expectations that our educational and research contributions will both enable our students to achieve their full potential and tackle the key challenges of today and tomorrow. I’ll be spending my first months as president listening intently to what the university and the broader communities have to say about UVic’s future. I plan to help build on a shared and focused vision of UVic’s unique contribution to BC, Canada and the world.”
As UVic’s vice-president academic and provost, Cassels was the university’s chief academic officer, initiating and leading the university’s integrated planning process that guided overall university direction and budget development. He oversaw the renewal and growth of UVic’s faculty complement, the expansion of undergraduate and graduate student programs and services, and the development of strong programs of Indigenous education and scholarship. More than 50 per cent of UVic’s current faculty, the next generation of scholars, were hired during his term.
Cassels has received numerous awards for his scholarship and teaching, including a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, Canada's highest award for university teaching which is awarded to those who both excel in their own discipline and demonstrate an exceptionally high degree of leadership and commitment to the improvement of university teaching across disciplines.
He also received a Canadian Association of Law Teachers Award for Academic Excellence for his exceptional contributions to research and law teaching. He is the author of numerous books and articles and is frequently cited in both the academic literature and the courts.
Cassels was named a BC Queen’s Counsel in 2004 for his scholarly and service contributions to the legal profession.
Cassels will succeed Dr. David Turpin, who has served as the university’s president since 2000. Cassels will be the seventh president in UVic’s 50-year history.
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Prof. Jamie Cassels
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