Award‑winning academic, now FASS dean: Get to know Frank Harvey

- August 18, 2016

Frank Harvey, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
Frank Harvey, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

With more than 25 years of experience in Dalhousie’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Frank Harvey is well acquainted with the history and evolution of the Faculty, as well as the challenges and opportunities it faces now and into the future.

Dr. Harvey became dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in July 2016, marking the latest step in a Dalhousie career that began in 1992. A professor in the Department of Political Science, Dr. Harvey has won numerous teaching awards and has served as University Research Professor of International Relations, director of the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies and research Fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

He also brings administrative experience gained from a prior term as associate dean of research for the Faculty.

In his years at Dalhousie, Dr. Harvey has been part of the ongoing evolution of the university and the Faculty. Although much has changed, he believes the core values of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences have held strong.

“What hasn’t changed is the consistently high quality of teaching, research and scholarship,” he says. “I have always been impressed by the number of teaching awards, research grants, fellowships, prizes and other awards our faculty and students receive.”

Expanding opportunities

Dr. Harvey says one of his key priorities is creating a broader and deeper understanding of the many ways Arts and Social Sciences students and faculty contribute to society. He cites the productions of the Fountain School of Performing Arts, the humanitarian training of the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldier Initiative and research on refugees and immigration among the areas where the Faculty has provided cultural and intellectual leadership.

“I think we can do even more to highlight and celebrate the important work being done across the performing arts, humanities and social sciences.”

Another important attribute of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, according to Dr. Harvey, is the breadth and quality of academic programs on offer. As dean, his aim is to build on these programs to address the priority areas of student recruitment and retention.

“We want to expand the number of opportunities for students, across all of our departments and disciplines, to engage in various forms of experiential learning, undergraduate research, and community outreach and leadership training,” says Dr. Harvey.

“We are also working on strategic initiatives around student mentorship, social policy innovation, Faculty-based academic advising, coordinated arts programming for first year students, new majors, summer bridging workshops for high school students and graduate recruitment.”

Collaboration is key

Dr. Harvey says his experience, including decades of service to Dalhousie, are an asset in his role, but believes that ongoing collaboration is a more important factor in future success.

“I am surrounded by great colleagues, a fantastic support network and the best team of administrators, staff and associate and assistant deans I could hope for,” he says. “Whatever we manage to accomplish during my term as dean will have everything to do with their efforts.”


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