Queen’s appoints new principal

University of Alberta dean and Queen’s alum to take up post on Sept.1

Daniel Robert Woolf’s appointment as Queen’s 20th Principal was announced at a press conference on Wednesday. Woolf, ArtSci ’80, currently serves as the Dean of Arts at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
Daniel Robert Woolf’s appointment as Queen’s 20th Principal was announced at a press conference on Wednesday. Woolf, ArtSci ’80, currently serves as the Dean of Arts at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
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Incoming principal Daniel Robert Woolf addressed Queen’s staff, student and faculty at a press conference announcing his appointment Wednesday. Woolf says one of his primary goals as principal will be to increase the international reputation of the University.
Incoming principal Daniel Robert Woolf addressed Queen’s staff, student and faculty at a press conference announcing his appointment Wednesday. Woolf says one of his primary goals as principal will be to increase the international reputation of the University.
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Daniel Robert Woolf has been selected to serve as the University’s 20th Principal, chair of the Board of Trustees Bill Young announced at a press conference Wednesday.

In addition to his current post as Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta, Woolf, ArtSci ’80, has taught at Bishop’s University, Dalhousie University and McMaster University. He will take up an academic post in the department of history on July 1 before taking over as principal on Sept. 1.

Woolf said one of his primary goals is to increase international recognition of the University.

“We need to do a little more work to get our name out there internationally,” he said. “I’d like to find something distinctive we can really hang our tams on.”

His plans include improving marketing of research done at Queen’s to raise the University’s profile.

“Let’s find some broad category of research that can bring the campus together,” he said. “We’ve done this successfully at other universities.”

He also wants to improve the sometimes troubled town-gown relationship.

“It is absolutely imperative that we maintain excellent relations with Kingston, because they are our hosts.”

Principal Tom William’s decision to cancel Homecoming in favour of a spring reunion was the correct one, he said, but added that he feels students’ reputations have been unfairly tarnished by the Aberdeen Street party.

Woolf said in order to reconnect with the Queen’s community, he wants to talk to current undergraduates, both student leaders and students at large, adding that he’d like to tour his old residence, Brockington House.

He said he plans to continue supervising research at the graduate level but said he likely won’t teach undergraduate classes because the demands of his busy schedule wouldn’t be fair to students.

He’s also the father of a first-year student.

“I think he’s cool with the idea. He will continue to live his separate life,” Woolf said, adding that he will encourage his son to come home to do laundry.

Young, part of the 18-person committee responsible for finding the new principal, said the committee was looking for a candidate with varied talents, such as administrative abilities, academic leadership and a flair for fundraising.

“Dr. Woolf was the candidate we felt had the greatest collective set of skills,” he said. “We did an enormous amount of reference checking.”

Young said the committee wasn’t specifically looking for a Queen’s graduate, but said being an alumnus gave Woolf certain advantages over the other candidates, adding that Woolf wasn’t recruited, but applied for the post.

Young said now that the principal has been chosen, the search for replacements for vice-principal (operations and finance) and vice-principal (advancement) will begin in the near future.

Principal Williams said he plans to work alongside Woolf during the coming months to help ease the changeover process.

“Dr. Woolf and I together will continue to work on the problems that are before us,” he said. “I am committed to making the transition as seamless as possible.”

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