Dr. Gary Kachanoski became the 12th president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University of Newfoundland on July 1, 2010, coming from the University of Alberta where he served as vice-president (research), professor and Bentley Research Chair (Soil, Water & Environment).
At Memorial, Dr. Kachanoski has focused on the development of new institutional vision, mission and values, and frameworks in teaching and learning, research and public engagement. He is also committed to the growth and development of the Marine Institute, Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook and the Labrador Institute, among many other initiatives. Infrastructure renewal has also been a top priority. Memorial currently has almost $336 million worth of projects underway, and approval has been obtained to proceed with a $360 million renewal of core science infrastructure on the St. John’s campus.
Under Dr. Kachanoski’s leadership, Memorial has continued its upward trajectory. Research has increased to $128 million and graduate student enrolment continues to climb having increased by almost 21 per cent over the past three years.
Finally, he spearheaded the university’s capital fundraising campaign, Dare To, which surpassed its $50 million goal by $17 million to date.
Born in Manitoba and raised in Saskatchewan, Dr. Gary Kachanoski is a soil scientist and an experienced university administrator. He started his academic career in 1985 at the University of Guelph where he served as professor, researcher, program director and department chair. At Guelph his leadership work with rural communities and organizations was recognized in 1992 when he was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Extension Award.
In 1996 he took up a new challenge at the University of Saskatchewan as dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research, where he served until he moved to University of Alberta in 2001 as vice-president (research).
Dr. Kachanoski was founding chair (2005-2007) and a driving force behind the creation of TEC Edmonton, a joint venture with the City of Edmonton and other regional partners for advancing technology commercialization and business acceleration.
Dr. Kachanoski was inducted into the Canadian Conservation Hall of Fame in 1997, an award that recognized his dedication and commitment to soil and water conservation in Canada. Dr. Kachanoski has had over 100 publications in refereed journals, papers and book chapters on his research in soil physics, focusing on the fate and movement of water, chemicals and gases through the soil and landscapes, and on water and soil management.
He is a past-president and a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Soil Science (1999), Fellow of the Soil Society of America (1997) and past editor of the Canadian Journal of Soil Science.
In May 2014, the Board of Regents unanimously approved Dr. Kachanoski as the university's president and vice-chancellor for a second five-year term, concluding June 2020.
Dr. Kachanoski is married with three children, and welcomed his first grandchild in the summer of 2012. His partner, Teresa Kachanoski, holds a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Alberta and was president of the Society of Northern Alberta Print Artists.
Since arriving in St. John’s, Mrs. Kachanoski has been very active in the local arts community, putting her considerable artistic talents to work in support of various community projects.
She has served on the board of Visual Artists Newfoundland and Labrador and is the current chair. She has been involved in helping organize the Excellence in Visual Arts awards since 2011, and is a member of St. Michael's Printshop and Eastern Edge Gallery. In her spare time, Mrs. Kachanoski enjoys hiking the East Coast Trail.