To MSVU students, faculty and staff:

Well, it’s official – I am so proud to be marking my first week as President and Vice-Chancellor of Mount Saint Vincent University!

Since mid-June, I packed my car to the brim and drove it halfway across the country.
I moved into the home I was fortunate to find just a few minutes from campus.
I unpacked heaps of boxes; put my power tool skills to the test on some (urgent) deck repairs; figured out what goes in the green bin vs in the blue bag vs in the garbage bag; discovered the joys of a walk on the Bedford waterfront (with my dogs sporting their new MSVU branded collars, of course); and sampled some local seafood.
Oh, and I updated my Twitter handle – follow me @PresD_MSVU.

It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been so worth it. I feel like I’ve come home.

I’ve already had the pleasure of meeting many amazing students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as supporters and champions of MSVU. Thanks to each of you for the warm welcome.

It hasn’t taken me long to figure out that YOU are the reason this university is unique.

To the students who have chosen to study here – I get it. Not only have you chosen exceptional academic programs, but at MSVU you’ve found faculty and staff who care deeply about your success, including your personal and professional development. (The beauty of this campus is impressive too – name me another university with ocean views, landscapes and wildlife like ours!)

To the faculty and staff who work here – I’ve seen firsthand now why I had heard that MSVU was different. I had heard about this university’s commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. I had heard that this was truly a special place to work – a place where community comes first and where a distinctive vision unites us. That’s already been my experience here.

This university couldn’t align better with my past professional experience and my goals for having an impact. It’s not always the case that a place lives up to its reputation, but MSVU is what it says it is. And I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it.

Of course, I’m also keenly aware that the past couple of years have not been without their challenges. The future will bring its fair share of challenges, too. And in true MSVU fashion, we’ll be ready to respond.

In return for all that you bring to MSVU, I commit to being a consultative, caring, and community-oriented leader. I commit to always putting this university, and especially its people, first. I commit to amplifying and celebrating the amazing work that gets done here. We are so lucky to have a university like ours.

Let’s do this MSVU!


Dr. Joël Dickinson
President and Vice-Chancellor
Mount Saint Vincent University

P.S. I hope you’re planning to join me at the Halifax Pride Parade on July 16. My wife and I are looking forward to being a part of the MSVU walking group and would love to see you there (I’m told you can register by emailing