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Campbell the choice for UNB

Dr. Eddy Campbell, acting president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University, has been nominated to become the next president of the University of New Brunswick (UNB).

A statement released by UNB on Feb. 10 said Dr. Campbell, who has served as acting president and vice-chancellor of Memorial since January of 2008, is the unanimous choice of UNB’s Joint Nominating Committee.

The UNB statement said Dr. Campbell was the top candidate from a list of over 50 individuals.

“Dr. Campbell possesses a unique blend of academic and administrative achievement, a commitment to the core values of the academy and to excellence in teaching and research, a deep understanding of universities and their internal workings, an open and consultative style, proven ability to communicate effectively, capacity for strategic thinking, and strength in government relations and fundraising,” said the UNB release.

Dr. Campbell addressed the issue in an e-mail message to the Memorial University community. “While my belief in the strength and potential of Memorial University and our students, staff and faculty remains as strong as ever, I am excited by this new opportunity and eager to explore it further,” he said.

Dr. Campbell met with members of the UNB community and others last week. If appointed, he will commence his term at UNB in September, staying on as Memorial’s acting president of Memorial until then.

A mathematician by training, Dr. Campbell holds two degrees from Memorial and a PhD from the University of Toronto.

He has been acting-president and vice-chancellor at Memorial for more than a year. He was appointed vice-president (academic) on May 1, 2004, following 21 years at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.

While at Queen’s, he served as associate dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science and professor and head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He completed a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Western Ontario before joining Queen’s University in 1983.

Dr. Campbell was elected president of the Canadian Mathematical Society in 2004 and served the society as president-elect, past-president and deputy president over a four-year period.

In 2007, Dr. Campbell was appointed to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada and to its Executive Committee in 2008. He also serves on its Committee on Professional and Scientific Integrity. Dr. Campbell has chaired the Steacie, Herzberg and Brockhouse Prize advisory selection committees at NSERC.

In 2008 he was appointed to the board of directors of the Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems network (MITACS), a national Centre of Excellence.

He currently is a member of the Executive and Investment Committees of MITACS. He also serves on the executive and nominating committee of the Association of Atlantic Universities.

Dr. Campbell’s main research interest is the invariant theory of finite groups. He has maintained an active research career and holds an NSERC Discovery Grant which was renewed in 2008 for five years.

Dr. Campbell’s tenure has not been without controversy. In July, provincial Education Minister Joan Burke confirmed in a news conference that she had personally interviewed two candidates put forward by the presidential search committee and “advised the selection committee that I felt that they should continue the search and bring forward some more names.”

On Aug. 2, Dr. Campbell, who was identified as one of those two candidates, said he had withdrawn his name from the presidential search so that he could speak freely in defence of the university's autonomy.