Former Dean of Law Andrew Petter to receive honorary doctorate

Esteemed legal scholar and elected provincial official Andrew Petter, KC will receive UVic’s highest academic honour on November 15 with an honorary degree, formally recognizing the exceptional contributions he has made over a span of several decades. 

Andrew PetterThroughout his career, Andrew Petter has distinguished himself as a first-class student, teacher, scholar, public leader and university administrator. After pursuing undergraduate studies in political science and law at the University of Victoria and gaining a Master of Law from the University of Cambridge, Andrew practised as Crown counsel in Saskatchewan before teaching law at York University’s Osgoode Hall and the University of Victoria Faculty of Law.

During a 10-year political leave from UVic, he was twice elected to the B.C. Legislative Assembly and was minister in six major portfolios, including Aboriginal Affairs, Advanced Education, and Attorney General. His ability to reach across the divisions of politics and work productively with others won the respect of people on all sides and resulted in groundbreaking initiatives. Shortly after returning to UVic, in 2001, he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Law, and during his tenure established the faculty’s graduate program and oversaw delivery of the Akitisiraq law program in Nunavut.

Appointed president and vice-chancellor of Simon Fraser University in 2010, a position he held until 2020, Andrew has been described as an incisive and fearless critic in the area of Constitutional law and a visionary who leads with both wisdom and charisma. 

In 2019, Andrew was inducted into the Order of Canada and in 2021 the Order of BC in recognition of his contributions to public policy and his visionary leadership in advancing legal education and university-community engagement.