Chancellor Rick Hillier steps down; Dr. Susan Dyer Knight appointed as new chancellor of Memorial
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Robert Simmonds, chair of the Board of Regents of Memorial University of Newfoundland, and Dr. Gary Kachanoski, the university's president and vice-chancellor, joined together today to welcome newly appointed university chancellor Dr. Susan Dyer Knight and to thank the institution's outgoing chancellor, Gen. Rick Hillier (ret'd).

Gen. Hillier advised the government that he would be stepping down as chancellor and the provincial government then appointed Dr. Knight as the seventh chancellor of Newfoundland and Labrador's only university.

"Rick Hillier has served Memorial University with dedication and a determination to raise our profile across the country and beyond," said Mr. Simmonds. "The university and the people of the province are deeply thankful for the singular contributions he has made. We welcome the appointment of his successor, Dr. Knight, and look forward to working with her to continue to advance our university."

Dr. Kachanoski added: "In addition to the wise counsel that Chancellor Hillier provided to the university, he brought his considerable talents, commitment and passion for leadership. At our convocation ceremonies, where he presided as chancellor, he served as a role model to thousands of our graduates and their families. And he led our development activities, volunteering to Memorial and to his home province his valuable time in this critically important role. I join the chair in expressing the thanks of the entire university community to Rick and also to his wife Joyce who, as a team, represented and supported Memorial selflessly, here in the province and across the country.

"Dr. Knight has been involved with Memorial in various capacities over the years and is very familiar with the university. She is an excellent choice and a most welcome addition to the Memorial community."

Gen. Hillier was appointed as the sixth chancellor of Memorial University in 2008 by the provincial cabinet. A native of Campbellton in Notre Dame Bay and an alumnus of Memorial (bachelor of science, '76), he came to the role after a lifetime of military service, including latterly as the senior military leader in Canada as chief of defence staff.

Gen. Hillier took the message of Memorial across the country, enhancing the profile and reputation of the university. In addition to many other contributions, he led the successful Dare To fundraising campaign which to date has raised more than $63 million in support of student scholarships, research and infrastructure renewal at Memorial.

In addition to her considerable accomplishments in music, Dr. Susan Dyer Knight is an honorary degree recipient (doctor of laws, '04) and alumna of Memorial University (bachelor of music and bachelor of music education, '83). She was named the university's Alumna of the Year in 2000. In her professional life, she has maintained contact and involvement in music education at the university and beyond.

Memorial's chancellor is appointed by the lieutenant-governor-in-council and the role is formally defined in the Memorial University Act. In addition to presiding over convocation, the chancellor serves on both the governing Board of Regents and the Senate, the university's academic governing body. In a broader sense, it is the chancellor's responsibility to represent the interests of Memorial in Newfoundland and Labrador and in the rest of Canada.

For more information, please contact Paula Dyke, associate director (communications), Memorial University, at or 709-864-8665. High resolution photos of Rick Hillier are available at