Impressions of my first 50 days

- Kevin Hall, president and vice-chancellor

Hall. Photo: UVic Photo Services

In my first town hall I asked what word best describes UVic. The word that rose to the top was “community”, and I can say that has been confirmed in every meeting and chance encounter I’ve had since arriving. Whether walking around Ring Road, across campus or downtown, people have stopped to welcome me to Victoria and the university. Victoria is as beautiful a city as I remembered, but I had forgotten how cold and damp it is at this time of year—at least compared to Newcastle, Australia!

Learning from you

My first priority when I arrived was to connect with as many people as possible and hear about your hopes, concerns and ideas for UVic. I want to learn about the university, about you as individuals and about the culture of this institution.

As president, my job is to enable us to build a collective vision about what we want as a community and institution; to come to a consensus about where we want to be in three, five, ten years; and to identify how we can really make an impact in our region and beyond.

The passion and dedication of this community has been evident in everyone I’ve met—from students to staff, from faculty to deans, and from members of the Board of Governors and Senate. We’ve spoken about what drew us to this university, what we hope for the future of this institution, and about how we, together, can rise to the opportunities and challenges ahead of us.

In my first town hall I heard strong support for action on climate and sustainability; equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism; and truth, respect and reconciliation. You also shared with me the importance of strengthening UVic’s global ranking and reputation, the impact of our teaching and research, and our connections with alumni, community and government.

These are all things that I am passionate about and which inspired my decision to join this university. I am looking forward to continuing these conversations over the coming months through my Listening Tour.

A wider community

Our community is much bigger than just the people I have met inside ‘the ring’. I have enjoyed meeting with local politicians and community leaders—the sense of pride they have in UVic is clear. Connecting with my colleagues at our partner universities and colleges is opening opportunities to share best practices and work together to advance shared goals for higher education in this region.

Innovative community engagement will be critical for us and for the province as we start a new year. Let’s make sure we're an exemplar and that we continue to enable and drive social change, environmental change and economic prosperity.

Looking forward

This has been a challenging year, but there are reasons to be optimistic. As I write this, some of the first vaccines are being administered in BC and we can look forward to an exciting new year as we gradually emerge from the pandemic.

My first 50 days have confirmed for me how fortunate I am to be UVic’s president. I look forward to working with all of you—students, staff, faculty and alumni—to build a sustainable future that creates impact for the region, the province and across the globe.

Learn more about the President's Listening Tour


In this story

Keywords: leadership, administrative

People: Kevin Hall

Publication: The Ring

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