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Introducing UVic’s next president and vice-chancellor

Dr. Kevin Hall

Kevin Hall will bring a unique blend of experience with him when he becomes the next president of the University of Victoria.

Hall is an innovative academic leader and civil engineer. He is known for his strong commitment to community engagement and unwavering belief in access to education and equity, diversity and inclusion.

Hall is currently serving in a senior leadership position at the University of Newcastle in Australia. His five-year term as the president of UVic begins Nov. 1, 2020.

Video announcement

A message from Kevin Hall

I am extremely honoured to be selected as the next president of UVic, one of Canada’s leading universities and an institution profoundly committed to equity and excellence. I am excited and very inspired to join a university that strives to be a global exemplar in vital causes that hold the key to our future—a university that nourishes and shapes tomorrow’s leaders, shows global leadership in supporting a brighter future for Indigenous Peoples and communities, and engages deeply with communities locally and around the world to drive social, environmental and economic change.
Kevin Hall

Presidential transition

Hall currently serves as vice-president and senior deputy vice-chancellor of global engagement and partnerships at the University of Newcastle.

He will succeed Jamie Cassels, who has served as the university’s president since July 2013. Cassels has been a faculty member at UVic for nearly 40 years and in senior leadership roles for more than half that time. He plans to return to his academic pursuits later this year.

About Kevin Hall

UVic’s next president and vice-chancellor

Hall has served in many positions at three world-class institutions. He has worked as a faculty member, research centre director, department chair and in senior leadership.

As a civil engineer, Hall’s research and industry leadership has made a global impact. His research interests focus on water quality modelling, environmental monitoring and pathogen detection systems, and water and health in marginalized communities.

Hall is an avid arts enthusiast and has had a lifelong commitment to fitness. He has been active as a community member, including here in Canada on the boards of the Guelph Art Gallery and Guelph Jazz Festival, the Kingston Triathlon Club and other community organizations. He competed for Canada as an age-grouper at a number of World Triathlon Championships.

A commitment to UVic’s values

Hall has been actively involved in the design and implementation of Indigenous and gender programs in all three universities where he has been a senior leader.

He has been involved in international and national development, including significant activities in Africa, India and South America. His team has worked with other organizations to deliver low-cost point-of-use water treatment technologies into marginalized urban communities across southeast Asia.

Hall spearheaded entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives at the University of Newcastle (UON). He led the establishment of the Integrated Innovation Network, a series of five innovation incubators. This regional network allows community, companies and subject matter experts to work closely with researchers and students to develop opportunities for social change and economic growth.

Hall has a deep commitment to environmental sustainability and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and is the chair of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research at UON. He founded the Centre for Water and the Environment at Queen’s University and led the Sustainability Task Force at the University of Guelph.

At UON, he initiated the SDG audit and compliance agreement between the City of Newcastle and the university. Under the 2025 UON Sustainable Vision, UON became the first university in Australia to be powered by 100% renewable energy.

Hall’s career has also been defined by his leadership in issues of equity, diversity and inclusion. Most recently, he led the team that initiated the successful Research Advantage Program at UON. This program includes a large number of fellowships and award programs for women in research.

Firsthand experience of the transformative power of education

As the first in his family to attend university, Hall has experienced education’s transformative power firsthand. He is committed to furthering equitable access to higher education and research.

Hall’s family is from the United Kingdom, where his father was a welder. His parents moved their family of four children—all of whom now have university degrees—to Canada in 1964.

Hall and his family grew up in regional Ontario (Peterborough). One of his proudest moments was watching his mother receive a BA from Trent University shortly after her 66th birthday.

Hall received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science at Queen's University and completed his PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Innovative impact within a non-traditional academic approach

Hall is a lifelong innovator. He holds a number of international patents and has developed spinoff and start-up companies.

Throughout his career, he has focused on undertaking and translating research for industry. This has resulted in the wide application of his research and a direct, rapid and ongoing impact to his profession. Hall has developed patented intellectual property, successful start-ups, and created significant research platforms. National and international engineering design manuals have included his work.

Over the past four years, he:

  • mentored and coached over 50 start-ups, both university- and community-based;
  • was a founding board member of the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship;
  • assisted with a $500-million purchase of a UON pharma start-up by MERCK;
  • and was a co-founder of three new start-ups in Australia and China.

Many of these initiatives provided work-integrated-learning and internship opportunities for students.

A lifelong commitment to post-secondary education and research

Hall has had a career-long commitment to excellence in higher education and research. His senior academic leadership roles in universities in Australia and Canada include:

  • vice-president and senior deputy vice-chancellor (global engagement and partnerships) at UON
  • senior deputy vice-chancellor (research and innovation) at UON
  • vice-president for research and external partnerships at the University of Guelph
  • executive director of the Centre for Water and the Environment at Queen's University
  • member of the Australian Research Council Advisory Council, appointed by the Commonwealth Minister of Education
  • chair of the Operations Board of the World Technology University Network

Hall was also a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada University Research Fellow at Queen’s University from 1987 to 1997.

Appointment process

A search committee engaged in a year-long international search for our next president. The committee included UVic faculty, staff, students, alumni and senior leaders.

The committee’s work was guided by a set of criteria that aligns with UVic’s strategic priorities. It was informed by input from the campus and external communities.

Many qualified candidates emerged. The committee assessed each candidate in light of the position requirements and criteria.

The committee carefully considered all information received over the course of the appointment process. Kevin Hall was then recommended as the candidate who most closely meets the established criteria.

Testimonials

What members of the Presidential Appointment Committee have to say about Kevin Hall:

Dr. Kevin Hall will embrace the role of President of UVic with creativity, insight and energy. His values exactly align with those of the university and he has a profound and abiding commitment to the best higher education experience for all. Dr. Hall will build upon our strong foundation with drive and determination, confidence and ambition. I look forward to welcoming him to the University of Victoria.
Chancellor Shelagh Rogers
Professor Kevin Hall has a clear vision of the role universities must play in the development of today’s society and offers a vibrant capacity to execute that vision. Kevin’s working style advocates for and empowers students and the university community, and his sustainability-focused perspective paves our university’s way towards even bolder sustainability actions. His exceptional reputation for entrepreneurship and expertise in external engagement will introduce new opportunities for the UVic community to contribute to the further achievement of UVic’s vision: making a better future for people and the planet.
Saeed Rezvani, MSc Student
Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
2019–2020 GSS Director of Student Affairs

The current global pandemic has, among other things, heightened our awareness of social and economic inequalities across and within societies, and the need for global cooperation. UVic would benefit from Dr. Kevin Hall’s knowledge and experience of global higher education and emerging trends in the sector as we navigate this new world. His interest in and dedication to access to education as a means of improving individuals’ life chances align with UVic’s commitment to promoting social justice nationally and internationally.
Elizabeth Adjin-Tettey, Professor
Faculty of Law

One of Dr. Kevin Hall’s many strengths is his collaborative approach to academic leadership.  His vision for UVic is a comprehensive and inclusive one; his goals are both local and global; and his belief in the role of the academy in making the world a better place for all is deep and enduring.  He values relationships and his approach has yielded an impressive track record of accomplishments that address societal needs and advance institutional priorities. I look forward to working with him.
Valerie Kuehne, Provost & Vice-President Academic
Dr. Hall cultivated his innovative and bold leadership experience through a number of executive-level positions across Canada and globally, and he also brings a values-based approach built on a foundation of collegiality and respect. His significant track record of community engagement demonstrates his ability to build and maintain strong relationships, especially with Indigenous communities, and his research endeavours show his commitment to environmental and social sustainability. I am delighted to welcome Dr. Hall to the University of Victoria and look forward to working with him to advance the strategic goals of the university.
Beverly Van Ruyven, Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Former chair, UVic Board of Governors

In addition to his superb academic credentials, Dr. Hall has a very impressive record of leadership success at a number of excellent research-intensive universities. His vision of a flourishing university is one which pairs high standards of research achievement with a deep commitment to fostering progressive social change via meaningful community engagement both locally and internationally. His recognition that scholarship and creative activity in diverse disciplines merit celebration and support will help him showcase the full range of UVic’s accomplishments to the world and will complement our aspirations to accomplish even more.
Colin MacLeod, Professor and Chair
Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities

Professor Kevin Hall has an outstanding track-record as a university leader, a researcher, and a teacher. It was clear his interests and passion are in close alignment with UVic’s values and priorities. He has an extensive track record in the areas of internationalization, sustainability and climate, Indigenous programs and engagement, and equity, diversity and inclusion. I am particularly impressed with his international program development for persons in low-income and developing countries. Given his outstanding experience and entrepreneurial approach, and his deep understanding of the challenges facing higher education, I am very excited for him to lead UVic as its next president.
Nick Dechev, Associate Professor and Acting Chair
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

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