President MacKinnon in his office
"There is never a 'great' time for this kind of change," said MacKinnon, "so one must look for a 'good' time, and I feel this is it. The University of Saskatchewan is in the hands of very capable leaders at the Board of Governors level, among senior administrators and within our various colleges, and we are experiencing a period of unprecedented growth and momentum. All of these factors combined give me confidence that the timing of my decision is right."
MacKinnon, 63, is the eighth president of the U of S, having been sworn into office in July 1999. Originally from Prince Edward Island, MacKinnon was educated at Dalhousie University, Queen's University and the U of S, and completed his bar admission course at Osgoode Hall in Toronto. At the University of Saskatchewan, he served as a professor and dean of the College of Law before accepting the presidency. He is currently in his third five-year term in that office.
"We are, of course, saddened at the prospect of Peter's departure as he has provided this institution with tremendous leadership throughout his tenure as president," said Nancy Hopkins, chair of the Board of Governors. "At the same time, we very much appreciate the time he has given us and his awareness of the need for a smooth transition in the Office of the President to ensure our work toward achieving the goals and priorities of our integrated plan is not unduly disrupted."
Hopkins went on to note that among MacKinnon's lasting legacies will be the establishment of the university's strategic directions in 2002, a document that has been the foundation for the institution's growth and development ever since, as well as his tireless efforts to restore the historic College Building. "Both of these accomplishments serve to anchor this university, and will continue to do so for years to come," she said.
The search for a new president of the University of Saskatchewan will follow the institution's approved process, she said, starting with the establishment of a search committee by summer.
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R. Peter MacKinnon, President, University of Saskatchewan
Peter MacKinnon, 63, was raised in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He was educated at Dalhousie University, Queen's University and the University of Saskatchewan, and completed his bar admission course at Osgoode Hall in Toronto.
MacKinnon articled in Kingston and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1975 and to the Law Society of Saskatchewan in 1979. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1990.
MacKinnon joined the University of Saskatchewan in 1975 and served as professor, assistant dean and dean of the College of Law, as well as one year as acting vice-president academic before his appointment as president and vice-chancellor. He assumed that role July 1, 1999 and is currently in his third five-year term, which began July 1, 2009.
His national appointments include the Prime Minister's Advisory Committee on the Public Service (2011 and continuing); the Science, Technology and Innovation Council of Canada (2007 and continuing); the Canadian Judicial Council Chairperson's Advisory Group (2006 and continuing); director, Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, PEI (2005 and continuing); the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (Chair, 2003-2005); the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada (2003-2005); the Council of Canadian Law Deans (President, 1994); and the Canadian Association of Law Teachers (President, 1981-1982).
MacKinnon's provincial appointments include Bencher, Law Society of Saskatchewan (1988-1998); board member, Foundation of Saskatchewan (1988-1998); and Saskatchewan Honours Advisory Council (1999 and continuing).
He is honorary president of the Canadian Club of Saskatoon (1999 and continuing); a member of the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority Board of Directors (1999 and continuing); a member of the Meewasin Valley Authority Board of Directors (1999 and continuing); and serves on the Saskatoon Airport Authority Board of Directors (2003 and continuing).
MacKinnon is the co-editor of three books and author of many articles, commentaries and reviews that have been published in Canadian and international legal journals. He is the recipient of many professional and service awards including the Canadian Bar Association Distinguished Service Award (Saskatchewan Branch) (2005); the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal (2005) and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002).
Peter MacKinnon has been married since 1974 and has two sons.