Dalhousie University. Office of the President

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body (Dalhousie University)

Authorized form of name

Dalhousie University. Office of the President

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Dalhousie University. President's Office

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Description area

Dates of existence



Although the first president of Dalhousie College, Thomas McCulloch, was appointed in 1838, it wasn’t until 1945 that the Board of Governors determined the specific responsibilities of the Office of the President, wherein the president became responsible for the general supervision of the university, encompassing all areas from the academic program to the student body.

Dr. Richard Florizone became the 11th president of Dalhousie in 2013. Other presidents were:

Rev. John Forrest; 1885 to 1911. Known as “Lord John,” he was the first George Munro professor of history and political economy, joining Dalhousie in 1880.

Dr. Arthur Stanley MacKenzie, 1911 to 1931. The first non-cleric and a Dalhousie graduate of 1885, he taught physics at John Hopkins University and Dalhousie (1905-1910).

Dr. Carleton Wellesley Stanley, 1931 to 1945. A University of Toronto and Oxford graduate, he taught English at Toronto and Greek at McGill. He was also a Canadian correspondent of the Manchester Guardian (1913 to 1916);

Dr. Alexander Enoch Kerr served as President from 1945 to 1963. He was the second Dalhousie graduate to become president. Born in Louisbourg, he was the third Presbyterian minister, and principal of Pine Hill Divinity Hall (1939 to 1945).

Dr. Henry Davies Hicks was Dalhousie’s leader from 1963 to 1980. A Rhodes Scholar, lawyer, politician, Premier and first Minister of Education of Nova Scotia in the 1950s, he is the only Dalhousie president (to date) to become a Senator of Canada.

Dr. William Andrew MacKay, 1980 to 1986. Born in Halifax; former law professor, Dean of Law, and vice-president, Dalhousie; first law professor and former law school administrator and the fourth Dalhousie graduate to become president; former Ombudsman of Nova Scotia. Dr. MacKay went on to become a judge of the Federal Court of Canada.

Dr. Howard C. Clark, 1986-1995. Born in New Zealand; taught chemistry and held administrative posts at the Universities of Western Ontario, British Columbia, Auckland and Guelph. While at Guelph he held a position as vice-president.

Dr. Tom Traves, 1995-2013. As president, Dr. Traves oversaw mergers with the Technical University of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, and spearheaded the $280 million Bold Ambitions Fundraising campaign. Dr. Traves also presided over a significant reshaping of campus, including the addition of new buildings and student spaces.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

The President of Dalhousie is the university's Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for implementing policies put forth by Senate and the Board of Governors, and as such is responsible to both parties and an ex-officio member of both groups.

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

The Office of the President includes the President and senior administration, which in 2021 include the Provost and Vice President Academic; Vice President Finance and Administration, Vice President Advancement; Vice President Research and Innovation; and Vice President Government and Global Relations.

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Florizone, Richard

Identifier of related entity

Category of relationship


Dates of relationship

2013 - 2020

Description of relationship

Richard Florizone was the eleventh president of Dalhousie University, serving from 2013-2020.

Related entity

Hicks, Henry D. (1915-1990)

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Dates of relationship


Description of relationship

Related entity

McCulloch, Thomas, 1776-1843 (1776-1843)

Identifier of related entity

Category of relationship


Dates of relationship


Description of relationship

Thomas McCulloch was the first President of Dalhousie. He was appointed in 1838 and served until his death in 1843.

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Control area

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Maintenance notes

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