Dr. Thomas Chase introduced as Interim President and Vice-Chancellor

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: April 1, 2020 8:00 a.m.

With nearly 40 years on the campus, Interim President Dr. Thomas Chase feels at home at the University of Regina.
With nearly 40 years on the campus, Interim President Dr. Thomas Chase feels at home at the University of Regina. Photo: U of R Photography

Beginning today, Dr. Thomas Chase assumes the role of Interim President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina. He will serve in this capacity until the successful conclusion of the search for the University's next full-term President. Most recently, Dr. Chase served as Provost and Vice-President (Academic), having been appointed to that position on July 1, 2011. Dr. Chase will be leading an institution that, like post-secondary institutions around the world right now, has had to adapt quickly to the challenges of a global pandemic.

Dr. Chase has been leading the University's response to the pandemic, which focuses on minimizing the impact on the academic year and stress on students, faculty, and staff.

"Little did we know when we selected Dr. Chase to serve as the University's Interim President and Vice-Chancellor that the world would be turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic," says Roger Brandvold, Chair of the University of Regina Board of Governors. "We could not be more fortunate during these challenging times to have had such a strong leadership transition from Dr. Timmons to Dr. Chase. His leadership experience and intimate knowledge of the University of Regina will ensure that the institution stays on a steady course and is well-positioned for a successful future."

 "I cannot thank our faculty, staff, and students enough for the speed with which they have accommodated the rapid shift to distance delivery of courses, thesis defences conducted via video, virtual student advising, and a host of other changes necessitated by the pandemic. They have been superb!" says Dr. Chase.

Dr. Chase earned a Bachelor of Arts (High Honours) in English from the University of Regina in 1979. In 1984, he received his PhD from Glasgow University in Scotland, where he held a doctoral fellowship in the Department of English Language. While in Britain, he also earned a licentiate diploma in organ performance from Trinity College of Music, London. Dr. Chase's research interests include linguistic approaches to literature and the questions of linguistic correctness and linguistic imperialism. French organ literature of the 19th and 20th centuries is also one of his passions.

Before taking up the position of Provost at the University of Regina, Dr. Chase served as Vice-President (Academic) and Provost at Royal Roads University in Victoria from 2009-2011. While there, he played key roles in developing the University's strategic plan, reorganizing its academic administrative structure, and renewing many of the university's academic programs.

Prior to his work at Royal Roads, Dr. Chase held a series of academic and administrative appointments at the University of Regina. Those include the positions of Coordinator of the Linguistics Program, founding Director of the Centre for Academic Technologies, Associate Dean (Research and Graduate) of the Faculty of Arts and, for four years, Dean of the Faculty of Arts.

"A month ago, my focus coming into the Interim President's role was to begin the implementation of the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan," he says. "That will certainly occupy part of my time, but over the coming weeks and months I will be working with all members of the University community to ensure that our academic mission is accomplished, that teaching and research continues, and that students' needs are met as we emerge from the pandemic. In a word, I will focus on institutional stability and continuity."

Having been a student, faculty member, and administrator at the University, Chase knows something about continuity. With almost 40 years spent here, there is a singular reason, he explains, for calling the University of Regina home.

"It's the people," he states emphatically. "This is an extraordinary community of fine people doing great things. Their commitment to students, to the creation and dissemination of new knowledge, art, and practice, and to community service is unparallelled. It is a privilege to work with them."

Dr. Chase has published articles and reviews in The Journal of Literary and Linguistic Computing, Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association, Canadian University Music Review, Choir & Organ, Organists' Review, The American Organist, and other journals. His doctoral research formed part of The Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary, a forty-year-long scholarly collaboration published in 2009 and awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education in the UK.

His performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio, and he has performed and lectured widely, including appearances in Vancouver, Quebec City, Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Newark, Seattle, Sao Paulo (Brazil), Sydney (Australia), and London (England). The Royal Canadian College of Organists honoured him in 2004 with the diploma of Fellow honoris causa in recognition of his "outstanding contribution to organ music as a performer, scholar, and visionary."

Dr. Chase's service outside the University includes two terms on the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board, membership on the board of the Saskatchewan Academic Health Sciences Network, chair of the national management committee for Faculty Bargaining Services, and from 2011 - 2017 membership on the Board of Trustees of the MacKenzie Art Gallery.

Effective April 1, Dr. Vianne Timmons, the University of Regina's seventh president, is taking on the leadership of Memorial University in Newfoundland. Dr. Timmons' 12 years at the helm of the University of Regina left a legacy of years of balanced budgets, record student enrolment, and a focus on making the University one of the country's most inclusive and welcoming campuses.