Head shot of Mike Quinn standing in front of the Centre for Health and Science at VIU's Nanaimo campus

A welcome note from Dr. Mike Quinn, VIU Provost

September 8, 2022

An introduction and reminder that you are not alone on your university journey

Welcome back to all returning students and welcome to VIU to all students starting studies here this fall. I want to start the year off by introducing myself. My name is Dr. Mike Quinn, and I am VIU’s new Provost and Vice-President Academic. I started in this role in June and am looking forward to experiencing the increased vibrancy and excitement that September brings – and to meeting as many of you as I can.

I can hear some of you asking, “What is a provost?” A provost guides the academic mission of a university and ensures that the institution is working towards achieving key goals, in our case outlined in the Academic Plan. I work closely with the President in setting overall academic priorities for the University. 

A little about me: I came to VIU from Mount Royal University in Calgary, where I most recently served as Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Academic. I was drawn here by VIU’s place-based, community-engaged and student-focused values. I have a PhD in Environmental Studies from York University, and a Master of Science in Conservation Biology, and Bachelor of Science in Forest Science from the University of Alberta. I love the outdoors and when I’m not working you’ll find me hiking, boating, fly fishing and generally enjoying all of the beauty that Vancouver Island has to offer.

The start of the school year brings with it lots of new things – new classes, new pens, new professors, new peers and, of course, lots of new things to learn. I want to remind you to reach out when you have questions or challenges – you are not alone and there are likely others with the same challenges or questions that you have. There are lots of supports available on campus to help you navigate university, from the financial, to the academic, to mental health and well-being supports. Learn more about services on the Student Affairs website, and new students may want to check out the Ready, Set, Go learning modules on the Learning Matters website.

Between the climate crisis and the extra stressors many of you have experienced in the past couple of years due to the pandemic, I know these times are challenging and ever-changing. Please remember there are always people who you can reach out to when you need some support. VIU Counselling is one of those resources. There are also several other supports available such as VIU Elders-in-ResidenceHere2Talk, which is a 24-hr service for students, and the VI Crisis line. The VIU Counselling website includes a full list of supports you can access. Everyone at VIU wants you to succeed in your studies and we are here to help you overcome obstacles when they appear.

I also want to remind you that have unlimited potential to make a difference at VIU and beyond. Your education here is a powerful step in developing the skills, knowledge and practical experience to make the world a better place. I encourage you to embrace the opportunity. Work hard, strive to be the best you can be and have fun. Thank you for choosing VIU to pursue your studies, and I look forward to meeting you and following your journeys.

Wishing you all the best for the 2022-23 academic year,



Mike Quinn

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