Dr. Teresa Balser

Interim president

An accomplished leader



Dr. Balser joined Dalhousie as Provost and Vice-President Academic in 2018 from Curtin University in Perth, Australia, where she served as Dean of Teaching and Learning and a John Curtin Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. She has more than a decade of experience in senior leadership roles at the faculty, university and US national levels, showcasing her strengths in strategic leadership, student engagement, university-wide planning and innovation. Dr. Balser, who has a PhD in soil microbiology, is cross-appointed to Dalhousie’s Department of Plant, Food and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Agriculture) and the College of Sustainability.

Dr. Balser became Dalhousie's Interim President and Vice-Chancellor on July 1, 2019, and will serve until President-Elect Deep Saini's arrival in January 2020.

Read Dr. Balser's full profile

Dr. Balser, who has a PhD in soil microbiology from the University of California, Berkley, has published 85 peer-reviewed papers, and her awards and honours include a Fulbright-Nehru Distinguished Chair, the USDA National Excellence in College and University Teaching Award, and being named U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She will have academic appointments at Dalhousie in the Department of Plant, Food and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Agriculture) and the College of Sustainability. 

Having grown up in Massachusetts, Dr. Balser is thrilled to be returning to the Atlantic coast to join the Dal community. In her own words: “Moving to Halifax is in many ways like making a homecoming… I've had the opportunity to live and work globally, and have seen many places. What really strikes me about Dal is the way the university walks its talk—I've been so impressed by the commitment to social justice and inclusivity, along with cutting-edge research and education across a range of important areas. This is a special place, and I am looking forward to working in partnership with our students, alumni, faculty, staff and community to tell the Dal story, and do what we can to make the world a better place.”

Dr. Balser’s appointment is the result of a thorough search process, which had terrific interest from excellent candidates locally, nationally and internationally. Her hiring comes with enthusiastic support from the search committee, which included representatives from administration, faculty, students and the Board. The committee, as part of its consultation with the Dal community, also engaged Officers of Senate on the selection of Dr. Balser as Provost, and who were supportive of her appointment.