Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Dr. Andrew Hakin appointed 19th President and Vice-Chancellor of StFX University

February 13th, 2020
Dr. Andrew Hakin

The Board of Governors of St. Francis Xavier University is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Andrew Hakin as the University’s 19th President and Vice-Chancellor.

Dr. Hakin comes to StFX from the University of Lethbridge where he began as a faculty member in 1989 and has served as Provost and Vice President (Academic) since 2007. During his tenure, Dr. Hakin led the strategy to redefine the University of Lethbridge as a destination university with a strong focus on undergraduate and graduate student experience, leading to important advances in academic programming and significant growth in enrolment, both domestic and international. A champion of diversity and inclusion, he has been recognized for his contributions to education within Indigenous communities.

His selection as President and Vice-Chancellor resulted from a search that was supported by Odgers Berndtson, an internationally-renowned executive search firm.

“StFX’s Board of Governors and the Presidential Search Committee led a thorough and comprehensive process to identify the right leader who exemplifies the values of academic excellence, community engagement and visionary leadership – values that are core to who we are at StFX,” said Mike Boyd, Chair of the Presidential Selection Committee, and of the StFX Board of Governors.

“Dr. Hakin personifies these values, and understands the heritage and close community relationships that continue to make StFX such a strong university. He is a highly experienced and proven leader with an impressive record of improving the student experience, building academic programs and services, and increasing enrolment. Under Andy’s leadership, we will further strengthen StFX’s commitment to academic excellence.”

“I am incredibly honoured to step into this exciting role at one of Canada’s strongest and proudest undergraduate universities,” said Dr. Hakin. “StFX has an exceptional tradition of academic excellence and community partnership, and I’m looking forward to building on these strengths as President and Vice-Chancellor. My wife Linda and I are excited for our move to Antigonish and Canada’s beautiful east coast.”

Dr. Hakin holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Leicester, in the UK. He has held a number of leadership roles before becoming Provost and Vice-President (Academic), including President of the University of Lethbridge faculty association, Chair of the University’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, and Associate Vice-President (Academic.)  He was awarded the University of Lethbridge’s Distinguished Teacher Award in 2000, the Stig Sunnor Memorial Award for research achievement, awarded by the International Calorimetry Conference in 2003, and is a member and graduate of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Dr. Hakin and his wife Linda are the parents of Abbey, an elementary school teacher in Calgary, and Callum, a fourth-year student in the Dhillon School of Business at the University of Lethbridge.

Dr. Hakin joins StFX during a period of tremendous momentum as the university experiences continued growth in student enrolment in each of its core faculties – Arts, Sciences, Business and Education. Most recently, the university celebrated the grand opening of the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government and Mulroney Hall, for which $100 million was raised to develop Canada’s leading undergraduate program in public policy and governance, create unique research opportunities, and introduce state-of-the-art academic facilities for students and faculty. 

Dr. Kevin B. Wamsley will continue serving as Interim President until Dr. Hakin assumes his duties as President and Vice-Chancellor on July 1, 2020. At that time, Dr. Wamsley will resume his role as StFX’s Academic Vice President and Provost.

“Kevin accepted the task of Interim President without hesitation and fulfilled the role tremendously well, advancing a number of important initiatives and garnering many accolades from the StFX community,” said Mr. Boyd.  “I am grateful that he will continue as Interim President until Dr. Hakin begins his tenure, and that going forward he will continue to play a critical role on our senior management team as Academic Vice President and Provost. On behalf of the entire StFX community, I would like to thank Kevin for his leadership this year.”


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