Thomas R. Williams

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Thomas Robert Williams is a Canadian university professor and academic administrator, who served as the 19th Principal of Queen's University, in Kingston, Ontario. He became principal and vice-chancellor of Queen's on May 1, 2008, following the in-term resignation of Karen Hitchcock. He concluded his term as Principal on August 31, 2009.

Canadians citizens of Canada

Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.

Queens University university in Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Queen's University at Kingston is a public research university in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Founded on 16 October 1841, via a royal charter issued by Queen Victoria, the university predates Canada's founding by 26 years. Queen's holds more than 1,400 hectares of land throughout Ontario and owns Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England. Queen's is organized into ten undergraduate, graduate, and professional faculties and schools.

Kingston, Ontario City in Ontario, Canada

Kingston is a city in Eastern Ontario, Canada. It is on the eastern end of Lake Ontario, at the beginning of the St. Lawrence River and at the mouth of the Cataraqui River. The city is midway between Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. The Thousand Islands tourist region is nearby to the east. Kingston is nicknamed the "Limestone City" because of the many heritage buildings constructed using local limestone.


Education and career

Williams began his post-secondary education at McGill University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1960. He stayed on at McGill to complete two degrees in education, worked at the University of Chicago, and earned his doctorate in education from the University of Michigan. He then went to the staff of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), at the University of Toronto. He arrived at Queen's in 1977, to become the Dean of the Faculty of Education, holding that position until 1986. He served as a professor in the Faculty of Education, and in the School of Policy Studies. He served as Vice-Principal of Operations, and as Vice-Principal of Institutional Relations, during the principalship of David Chadwick Smith (1984-1994). He is a professor emeritus of Education and of Policy Studies, and maintains active research interests in both fields. [1]

McGill University English-language university in Montreal, Quebec

McGill University is a public research university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was established in 1821 by royal charter, granted by King George IV. The university bears the name of James McGill, a Montreal merchant originally from Scotland whose bequest in 1813 formed the university's precursor, McGill College.

Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with elements and compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other substances.

Education Learning in which knowledge and skills is transferred through teaching

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators and also learners may also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy.

Controversy at Queen's

Queen's principal and vice-chancellor Karen Hitchcock, the first woman and the first American to hold the post, had been expected to serve until her five-year term ended on June 30, 2009, and in January 2008, had applied to be considered for re-appointment for a second five-year term. However, following active dissent from the undergraduate student assembly, which unanimously passed a resolution calling for her not to be granted a second term, [2] and controversy over her leadership, Hitchcock resigned on April 16, 2008, effective April 30, 2008.

Becomes new Queen's principal

Williams was appointed to fill the principalship vacancy in a vote from the Queen's Board of Trustees on April 25, 2008. He took office on May 1, 2008, and served until August 31, 2009, when he was succeeded as Principal by Daniel Woolf of the University of Alberta. During his highly successful sixteen months in office he contended with a ballooning deficit caused largely by the global economic crisis, improved relations with the city of Kingston, and dealt with the ongoing problem of an unsanctioned street party by cancelling the annual fall homecoming celebrations. He also secured funding for a new medical school and a planned performing arts centre. In an interview with CKWS-TV on April 25, 2008, Williams called the Queen's principalship "the best job in Canada". Known on the campus informally as 'Dr. Tom', Williams served a term as honorary president of the Queen's Alma Mater Society in the late 1990s, and has historically enjoyed an excellent rapport with Queen's students. In October 2009, Queen's Board of Trustees recognized Williams' distinguished service to the university by awarding him the designation Principal Emeritus. On October 26, 2009, Williams received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Queen's. [3]

Daniel Robert Woolf is a British/Canadian historian. He is the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, a position to which he was appointed in January 2009 and took up as of September 1, 2009. He was previously Professor, Department of History and Classics, at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where he also served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts until April 2009. He was reappointed to a second term early in 2013. On November 28, 2017 Woolf announced his intention to retire from the Principalship at the end of June 2019.

University of Alberta university in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The University of Alberta is a public research university located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It was founded in 1908 by Alexander Cameron Rutherford, the first premier of Alberta, and Henry Marshall Tory, its first president. Its enabling legislation is the Post-secondary Learning Act.

Homecoming tradition of welcoming back alumni of a school

Homecoming is the tradition of welcoming back former students and members and celebrating an organization's existence. It is a tradition in many high schools, colleges, and churches in the United States and Canada.

Community involvement

Williams has been an extensive contributor to both the Queen's and Kingston communities. He has served on the board for both the main hospitals in the city, Kingston General Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital. He served on the board for the Kingston Community Foundation and for Imagine Kingston. He is currently the chair of the Building Committee for the new Performing Arts Centre at Queen's.

Kingston General Hospital Hospital in Ontario, Canada

The Kingston General Hospital (KGH) is an acute-care teaching hospital affiliated with Queen's University located in Kingston, Ontario. Along with Hotel Dieu Hospital and Providence Care, the hospital is a partner within Kingston's university hospitals in the Southeast LHIN, delivering health care, conducting research and training health care professionals.

Hotel Dieu Hospital (Kingston, Ontario) Hospital in Ontario, Canada

Hotel Dieu Hospital is a hospital in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. It is affiliated with Queen's University, and is a partner within Kingston's university hospitals, delivering health care, conducting research and training the health care professionals.

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  2. "Students give Principal failing grade", by Elizabeth Church, The Globe and Mail , March 7, 2008.
  3. The Queen's Gazette, October 26, 2009, p. 3.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Karen R. Hitchcock
Principal of Queen's University
2008 – 2009
Succeeded by
Daniel Woolf