SACKVILLE, NB — Mount Allison University has named Dr. Jeffrey (Jeff) Hennessy as its next provost and vice-president academic and research. Hennessy comes to Mount Allison from Acadia University and has been appointed for a five-year term beginning July 1, 2020.
“We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Hennessy to Mount Allison as our next provost and vice-president academic and research,” says Mount Allison University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau. “His strong commitment to the liberal arts and undergraduate education will help support academic programming at Mount Allison, equipping our students with the skills and capacities required for today’s rapidly changing society.”
Hennessy says he is looking forward to the role.
“I could not be more excited to join the Mount Allison family,” he says. “I have admired Mount Allison for many years, from my brief time as a student here and through my work with the Maple League of Universities. I am so impressed with the faculty, staff, and students at Mount A and I am honoured to have been chosen to help lead such a renowned and important university.”
A music professor, Hennessy comes to Mount Allison with administrative experience in senior roles. At Acadia University, he served as the director of the School of Music from 2007-2013, where he led initiatives that resulted in a re-imagining of the music curriculum, an over 30 per cent increase in full-time student enrolment, and an elevation of the program’s regional and national reputation. He served as dean of arts from 2014 to 2019, helping to lead Acadia’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action around education and laying the foundation for its decolonization strategy.
“With these experiences, Dr. Hennessy is poised to help shepherd Mount Allison through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” says Boudreau. “As a dynamic communicator with a strong commitment to liberal arts education and a passion for propelling connections across disciplines, he is well equipped to help advance Mount Allison’s strategic planning, initiated by the University last year.”
Hennessy completed a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry at Trent University before deciding to pursue music as a profession, earning his PhD in musicology from the University of Toronto in 2008. As an academic and music practitioner, he has distinguished himself with an extensive record of creative performances and commissioned compositions for music festivals, orchestras, and theatres. He has also published in several peer-reviewed journals, including MusiCultures, Perspectives of New Music, and the Journal of Mathematics and Music. He is married to Erin Hennessy, a dentist and former president of the Nova Scotia Dental Association, and they have a son, Rory.
Hennessy is replacing Dr. Jeff Ollerhead, who has served as the University’s provost and vice-president academic and research since 2016. Ollerhead has worked at Mount Allison for more than 25 years and will continue to serve as a professor in the University’s Department of Geography and Environment.
A member of the senior administrative and academic team, the provost and vice-president academic and research is Mount Allison’s senior academic officer, responsible for the planning and management of the University’s academic affairs; developing, maintaining, and supporting teaching and research excellence; and overseeing planning and budgets for the academic faculties, the library, administrative and general services, and other academic areas.
A search process was undertaken by a committee comprised of Mount Allison faculty, students, and staff, and chaired by the President.