Chancellor-elect has strong ties to UVic

For Murray Farmer, one UVic door is closing while another opens. His six-year appointment to the board of governors ended with the board’s June meetings. A few days earlier, Farmer was elected to serve as the university’s next chancellor starting Jan. 1.

In month-long balloting among members of the UVic convocation, Farmer—community volunteer, business leader and ardent UVic supporter—received 2,512 votes compared to 1,326 for Jim Dutton, a retired cardiovascular-thoracic surgeon. Voting concluded on June 20.

“It was a combination of elation and relief,” Farmer says. “I’m really happy to be able to continue volunteering with the university.”

Farmer’s history with the university goes back to the institution’s first day, in 1963, when he arrived as an undergraduate. He went on to receive an economics degree in 1968.

“I see the chancellor’s role as being the ambassador for the university community,” says Farmer, who looks forward to promoting the university as the “intellectual and academic hub” of the Capital Region.

Farmer will succeed Chancellor Ron Lou-Poy whose second and final three-year term concludes on December 31. The formal installation of the new chancellor will take place during June 2009 Spring Convocation ceremonies. The chancellor is the titular head of the university, confers degrees and serves on the board of governors and senate.

President David Turpin, in a message to the university community, welcomed the election results. “Dr. Lou-Poy and his predecessors have served our university as chancellor with immense grace, generosity and wisdom. Murray Farmer will sustain the quality of leadership and spirit we at UVic have been so fortunate to enjoy.”

Farmer, 2007 recipient of the UVic Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Lifetime Achievement, is president of Farmer Industries Group, with interests in the construction, development and hospitality industries. With his wife, Lynda, he is a co-owner of a Central Saanich equestrian training facility for young people.

Farmer’s extensive volunteer leadership has included time with the Victoria Foundation, the Sidney Marine Discovery Centre Campaign, the Royal BC Museum and the United Way of Greater Victoria.

Farmer was nominated for chancellor by the board of directors of the UVic Alumni Association. Voting, via WebVote and paper ballots, was conducted among UVic alumni, past and present members of the university’s board of governors and senate, regular and retired faculty members, regular staff members (with a university degree and at least one year of service), and former students of Victoria College who completed one year of studies prior to 1963.

Four members of senate were previously elected by acclamation: Kathleen Barnes, Betty Clazie, Larry Cross and Gail Flitton. The new chancellor and senators will hold three-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2009.

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Keywords: leadership

People: Murray Farmer

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