Dr. Kevin Wamsley named interim StFX president

ANTIGONISH: St. Francis Xavier University’s Board of Governors has announced Dr. Kevin Wamsley, StFX’s current Academic Vice-President and Provost, as interim President of StFX University, effective August 1.

“Dr. Wamsley’s leadership and unwavering commitment to our academic mission has supported our Faculty members and greatly contributed to the exceptional learning experience we offer to our students,” says Mike Boyd, Chair of the Board of Governors and a member of the Class of ’85. “His time serving as an ex-officio member of StFX’s Board of Governors, a member of the Executive and President’s Council, leading the academic portfolio, and his more than 30 years of post-secondary experience have provided him with an in-depth understanding of the complexities and opportunities related to running a world-class institution such as ours. I look forward to working with Dr. Wamsley during this time of transition.”

“I also wish to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Kent MacDonald for all he has done as President over the last five years. He is a true Xaverian and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Dr. Wamsley will replace StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald who was appointed 18th President in 2014. Dr. MacDonald announced earlier this year that he would be stepping down from his role.

“With new academic programming being introduced and world-class facilities such as the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government and Mulroney Hall opening in the fall, StFX is in the midst of a period of tremendous momentum,” says Dr. Wamsley. “I consider it an honour to continue with the great work, initiated by Dr. Kent MacDonald and others, while the search for a permanent president is underway.”

Dr. Wamsley began his term as Academic Vice-President and Provost at StFX in 2015. An award-winning teacher and celebrated researcher, he holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Master of Arts from Western University and a PhD from the University of Alberta, where he held a Killam Doctoral Scholarship. Recently, Dr. Wamsley accepted a request to renew his term as StFX’s Academic Vice President and Provost, serving the campus community for another six years, effective August 1, 2020.

A Presidential Search Committee has been established and is in the beginning stages of a process that is expected to take several months.

Prior to coming to StFX, Dr. Wamsley spent nearly a decade in significant administrative service at Western where he was Associate Dean (Programs), Faculty of Health Sciences. His contributions at Western were wide-ranging. He served as Acting Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences; Director, International Centre for Olympic Studies; Chair of the Steering Committee on Academic Processes and Systems; Chair of Western’s Working Group on Information Security; and was a member of various committees including the Campus Master Plan and Honorary Degrees Committees.

Recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on the history of the Olympic Games, Dr. Wamsley has also conducted research into 19thcentury Canadian sport, men’s and women’s violence, and the organization of gender relations through sport. He has served as president of the North American Society for Sport History and as Senior Editor of OLYMPIKA: The International Journal of Olympic Studies.

He has authored or edited over 100 peer-reviewed publications and several books. Dr. Wamsley is often asked to provide expert commentary on the Olympic movement, and has been interviewed nearly 1,500 times for various media publications/broadcasts, including CTV, Global, CBC, BBC, CNN, New York Times, Times of London, and the Wall Street Journal. In 2003, he was called to testify before the United States Congressional Executive Commission on China and asked to provide input on how the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games would impact human rights in China.

He and his wife, Carol, live in Bayfield and are very happy to be members of the Antigonish community.