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Nipissing University's new president wants to enhance its reputation as a leading primarily undergraduate university

'Nipissing’s strong sense of community and focus on student success, research and teaching excellence are just a few of the things that attracted me to the University'

After a nearly year-long search, Nipissing University has appointed Dr. Kevin Wamsley as its seventh President and Vice-Chancellor.

He replaces Mike Degagne who resigned in June last year.

See: Nipissing University president resigns

Dr. Wamsley is currently the Academic Vice-President & Provost of St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He will begin his five-year term at Nipissing on August 1. 

"Nipissing’s strong sense of community and focus on student success, research and teaching excellence are just a few of the things that attracted me to the University,” said Wamsley. “I look forward to joining the Lakers community, building connections with the broader community and working collaboratively to enhance Nipissing’s reputation as a leading primarily undergraduate university with national prominence.” 

Wamsley is completing the fifth year of his term as Academic Vice-President & Provost at StFX, after serving for a year as President (Interim) of the University. Previously, he served as Professor, Associate Dean, Acting Dean, and Director of the International Centre for Olympic Studies over the course of 18 years at Western University.

Prior to that, he was a professor and Associate Dean at the University of Calgary.

A news release issued this morning says he has a "keen interest in academic leadership, gleaned from a 30-year career in teaching, research, and administrative roles. Along with this scholarly background, he brings extensive leadership experience within the university and larger communities."

“On behalf of the Board of Governors I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Wamsley and welcome him to the Nipissing University community,” said Marianne Berube, Chair, Nipissing University Board of Governors. “Dr. Wamsley’s proven leadership qualities and extensive experience as both an academic and administrator will be invaluable as Nipissing enters this next exciting phase in its growth. We look forward to working with Dr. Wamsley to continue to build on Nipissing’s strengths and strategic priorities in the areas of student experience, research and academic excellence.” 

Wamsley served 16 years in significant university administration roles and has much leadership experience in academic success, curriculum development, student recruitment, retention and student relations, quality assurance reviews and reports, professional accreditation processes, faculty relations, and strategic planning says the release.  

He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, with both an Honors Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts, and holds a PhD from the University of Alberta.  He held a Sir Izaak Walton Killam Doctoral Scholarship during his graduate study at the University of Alberta and, in addition to his research record, he has received teaching awards at the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, and at both the Faculty and USC Teaching Honor Roll level at Western.  

"Recognized as one of the world's leading Olympic Games experts and historians, Dr. Wamsley has appeared in various media publications/broadcasts nearly 1,600 times throughout his academic career, including with such news agencies as CTV, Global, CBC, BBC, CNN, New York Times, Times of London, and the Wall Street Journal," according to the release.

Wamsley will succeed Cheryl Sutton who has been serving as Nipissing’s President and Vice-Chancellor (Interim) since July 1, 2020.

See: Interim Nipissing University president begins her term

Sutton will continue in her interim role until August 1, at which time she will return to her role as Vice-President, Finance and Administration, a position she has held since 2016.