Announcement from the Chair

July 19, 2023

Dr. Kim Brooks

A message from Cheryl Fraser

Chair of the Dalhousie University Board of Governors

On behalf of the Dalhousie University Board of Governors, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dalhousie’s own Dr. Kim Brooks as the university’s 13th President and Vice-Chancellor.

Dr. Brooks, who has been supporting the current leadership transition as Acting Provost and Vice-President Academic, has the rare distinction of having served as Dean of two different Dalhousie faculties: the Schulich School of Law and the Faculty of Management. She is a 3M Teaching Fellow and an accomplished tax scholar and lawyer who has held research chairs at multiple top Canadian universities. Her extensive leadership and service reaches deep into the public sector and our local community with organizations such as Halifax Public Libraries, where she is the current Board Chair.  

“I am excited about the difference the Dalhousie community makes to the province, country, and world and I’m humbled by the opportunity to serve as president,” says Dr. Brooks. “We’ve been deeply integrated into the fabric of Nova Scotia for over 200 years and yet it feels like we’re entering a new era of possibilities and opportunities. I’m looking forward to connecting and re-connecting with all who support our vital work as we hold tight to our sense of purpose and possibility; grow a culture of inclusive excellence, curiosity and exploration; and strengthen Dalhousie’s engagement with communities across Nova Scotia and around the world.”

Anyone who has gotten to know Dr. Brooks during her 13 years at Dalhousie has been witness to her exceptional leadership that puts integrity and empathy first, with a steadfast commitment to inclusion and community. For Dr. Brooks to now bring that same leadership to the President’s Office represents an incredible opportunity for Dalhousie, for Nova Scotia, and for fulfilling the potential and possibility at the heart of our Third Century Promise. 

Dr. Brooks’s appointment is for a five-year term beginning August 14, 2023. Read more about the appointment on Dal News.

About Dr. Brooks

Dalhousie has a proud history of accomplished leaders who bring a variety of different backgrounds and experiences to bear in their work. Dr. Brooks is both the first woman and first openly queer person to be permanently appointed university president. These are overdue milestones, but ones worth recognizing.

Dr. Brooks’s appointment is the result of a comprehensive search process that attracted exceptional candidates from across Canada and around the world. We were seeking a president with the vision, passion, and commitment to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities ahead for our university. Dr. Brooks’s impressive skills and qualifications distinguished her amongst an incredibly competitive field. 

In her time at Dalhousie, Dr. Brooks has succeeded in leading through positive change, whether that’s enhancing the student experience in Law or developing a bold new structure and strategic plan for the Faculty of Management. She has been a Faculty Associate of Dalhousie’s Centre for Learning and Teaching and has held the Purdy Crawford Chair in Business Law. She has also showcased an exceptional record as it relates to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA) — including as co-chair of the committee that produced the 2015 Belong report and in leading many important EDIA initiatives within both Law and Management. 

Dr. Brooks has served on key committees with CRA and the Tax Court of Canada and as chair of the Canadian Centre for Legal Innovation in Sexual Assault Response. Prior to joining Dalhousie in 2010, Dr. Brooks held the H. Heward Stikeman Chair in the Law of Taxation at McGill University and prior academic appointments at Queen’s University and the University of British Columbia. She also worked as a tax lawyer with Stikeman Elliott in their Toronto and London (UK) offices. She holds a PhD from the University of Western Australia, a LLM from York University, a LLB from UBC, and a BA from the University of Toronto. 

These pandemic years have represented an unsettled time for everyone and the environment in which Dalhousie operates has never been more complex. Dr. Brooks has proven her ability to work effectively and creatively with others to build a clear sense of direction and get things done. She is the right leader to help connect and engage our faculty, researchers and staff, our students, and our partners and stakeholders in Nova Scotia and beyond in a shared vision to achieve our ambitious goals and navigate any challenges that lie ahead. 

Thanks and appreciation 

To complete a presidential search quickly and effectively is no small feat. It takes the contributions of many, including those faculty, staff, students, and community members who took time to share their thoughts and suggestions to the search.

Central to the effort was our search committee, which consisted of five Board-appointed members, three Senate-appointed members and representatives from both the student body and administration. I am incredibly grateful to this team for their time, talent, and thoughtful deliberations. Thanks are also owed to the administrative staff who supported the committee’s work — most significantly Laura Godsoe, director of executive recruitment and employment equity, whose insight and expertise was critical to the process. The search was conducted according to Dalhousie’s Senior Administrative Appointments Policy and Procedures and was aided by the search firm Perrett Laver. For more on the search and Dr. Brooks’s appointment, visit the Presidential Search website.

I’d also like to express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Acting President Frank Harvey for his service. His confident leadership has ensured this transition has remained a time of progress for Dalhousie. Just as importantly, the past six months have showcased the strong working relationship and deep respect between Drs. Harvey and Brooks and the potential of what they can achieve together for this university. Dr. Harvey will be returning to the Provost’s Office in August and Dalhousie is truly grateful for his continued stewardship of our academic community.

Thanks, as well, to Dr. Mike Smit for his leadership of the Faculty of Management during Dr. Brooks’s time in the Provost’s Office. I am pleased that Dr. Smit has agreed to continue serving as Acting Dean as we begin planning the search for the Faculty’s next leader. I am sure there are many in Management who are disappointed that Dr. Brooks will not be returning to her decanal role; I hope those who feel this way take solace in the fact that Dalhousie is poised to continue to benefit immeasurably from the same qualities that made Dr. Brooks such a successful Dean.   

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Brooks on her appointment. I look forward to working with her and all of you as we push forward in our academic mission and grow and strengthen our vital contributions to Nova Scotia’s success.   


Cheryl Fraser
Chair, Dalhousie University Board of Governors
Chair, Presidential Search Committee

Dalhousie University is located in Mi'kma'ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi`kmaq. We are all treaty people. 
We recognize that African Nova Scotians are a distinct people whose histories, legacies and contributions have enriched that part of Mi’kma’ki known as Nova Scotia for over 400 years.