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About the President

Dalhousie's 11th President

Since the beginning of his presidency, Dr. Richard Florizone has been committed to advancing the university's three-fold mission of teaching and learning, research and service to communities. In collaboration with Dal faculty, staff and students, he has worked to build a collective vision that advances "The Four R’s": retention, research, returns to society and respect, while enhancing the university's economic, social and cultural impact. This vision is outlined in Inspiration and Impact: Dalhousie's Strategic Direction 2014-2018.

Dr. Florizone began his term as Dalhousie’s 11th president in July of 2013, bringing a unique mix of academic and professional skills developed through extensive experience with universities, companies and government in Canada and abroad. Previously, Dr. Florizone was vice-president, finance and resources at the University of Saskatchewan, where he was also a Policy Fellow in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. He earned his PhD in physics from MIT and has been a senior adviser to the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation in Washington, D.C., as well as serving in roles with Bombardier Aerospace, Cambridge University and the Boston Consulting Group.

You can find Dr. Florizone on Twitter at @dalpres.

Read Dr. Florizone's full profile

Leading Dal forward

Dr. Richard Florizone began his term as the 11th president of Dalhousie, in July, 2013 and quickly found common ground with Dal students. Dr. Florizone was inspired to move from Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia by many of the same attributes that bring students from across Canada and the world.  

Dr. Florizone was also drawn to the challenge of leading Dalhousie through its 200th anniversary. As president, Dr. Florizone is shaping Dalhousie’s future while respecting its past.

At the beginning of his presidency, Dr. Florizone brought that question to the Dalhousie community with his 100 Days of Listening initiative. By gathering the perspectives of students, faculty, staff, alumni and external partners – and combining this feedback with quantitative research – Dr. Florizone put together a complete picture of what matters to the Dalhousie community.

Dr. Florizone strongly believes that Dalhousie’s success depends on the community uniting behind common goals. So it’s fitting that his first step as president was leadership-by-listening.

The results of that feedback can be found in Dr. Florizone’s 100 Days report [PDF-7.3MB]. The ideas of the Dal community also form the foundation of Inspiration and Impact: Dalhousie’s Strategic Direction 2014-2018, a document that outlines Dalhousie’s purpose and vision.

Throughout the first term of his presidency, Dr. Florizone has inspired students, faculty, staff alumni and the community to collaborate in achieving historic success for the university. Some of our shared achievements include the largest federal research grant in Canada in 2016 for the Ocean Frontier Institute, full program accreditation of all of Dalhousie’s programs, record fundraising and enrolment, and Dal faculty being recognized with Canada’s top science prize in three of the last four years. 

Dr. Florizone’s leadership has been steadfast, in particular his commitment towards academic values and excellence, partnership, and building a more respectful, diverse and inclusive university community. The conclusion of his current term will see the revitalization of our Sexton campus, the opening of a new fitness centre, and the celebration of our 200th anniversary — all initiatives that speak to the collaborative vision that Dr. Florizone has set out for Dalhousie.

Dr. Florizone continues to advance Dalhousie by engaging the Dal community and its partners. His board service includes Universities Canada, Quantum Valley Ideas Lab, and Innovacorp.

Dr. Florizone has been recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOs and is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering.