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Faculty of health update

December 12, 2023

Dear colleagues,

I am writing as Chair of the ad-hoc Senate Committee on Academic Health Programming to update you on our work to date and next steps in the process to create a new faculty of health.


The Committee’s survey in September received more than 1,900 responses—including from 286 faculty and librarians and 453 staff. Respondents indicated enthusiasm for this initiative, with potential benefits far outweighing potential challenges. Among the benefits is attracting high-performing students interested in health programs and professions, as well as new experiential learning and training opportunities. Additionally, respondents believe that a faculty of health will improve UVic’s ability to respond to pressing local and global health challenges, including through expanded research and partnership opportunities, as well as increased access to external funding and resources. 

We presented a summary of results to Senate and then to the campus community at a townhall, attended by over 250 faculty, librarians and staff. For those unable to attend, the slides are available on the project web page.

The Committee began consulting academic units in November, including in Education, Human and Social Development (HSD), Medical Sciences, and Social Sciences. These consultations are ongoing and will continue into January.

Senate process

At the Dec. 1 Senate, the Committee tabled a draft rationale for discussion that included a proposed name and initial list of academic units. This list was drawn primarily from the survey results, and faculty members both within and outside of those units indicated that they wished to be considered for inclusion in a Faculty of Health. The process for determining the new faculty structure is iterative and the list is not final.

As most of the proposed initial units are within HSD, the Committee intends to bring forward a motion to disestablish HSD as part of the process of establishing a Faculty of Health—as creating a net-new faculty is out of scope. We will continue to consult with our HSD colleagues to ensure they are supported in finding a new home in the Faculty of Health or elsewhere. As well, we heard through the survey that it will be important to “right size” faculties as we work to create a Faculty of Health, and the Committee is taking a holistic approach where possible.

If Senate approves a Faculty of Health, potentially in February of March, the Committee will then begin phase two of the project, which includes additional consultations, refining the organizational structure, and creating an implementation plan. There will also be parallel processes to support individuals and units moving to a different faculty.

The Committee will also bring forward interim appointment procedures for a new dean in February or March, which will allow the university to begin the recruitment process for a dean to lead and help shape the new faculty in 2025, engaging with faculty and staff as part of phase three

Expressions of interest

The Committee invites academic units who wish to articulate a position regarding their unit’s interest in joining or engaging with the Faculty of Health to submit a position statement and any questions to

Our project web page has additional information, including a regularly updated FAQ.

Thank you to everyone who has engaged in this process to date, and we look forward to updating you again on this initiative in the new year.


Helga Hallgrímsdóttir, PhD
Chair, Senate Committee on Academic Health Programming
Deputy Provost, Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost