Biography of Dr. Vianne Timmons, O.C., President and Vice-Chancellor

(to read biographies in other languages, please follow the links at the bottom of the page)

Since becoming the seventh President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina on September 1, 2008, Dr. Vianne Timmons has taken a leading role in establishing the strategic direction of the University.

She has done so in large part through the development and implementation of the University's two most recent strategic plans.  The 2009-2014 plan, developed through a consultative process and entitled mâmawohkamâtowin: Our Work, Our People, Our Communities, gave new life to the institution's three-fold academic mission of teaching, research, and service to community through its focus on key areas such as student and employee engagement, teaching and research excellence, and the education of Aboriginal students who will play such an important part in Saskatchewan's future. The 2015-2020 strategic plan, entitled peyak aski kikawinaw: Together We Are Stronger, builds on this momentum by emphasizing student success, high-impact research, commitment to communities, Indigenization, and sustainability.

Under Dr. Timmons' leadership, the University of Regina has made a great deal of progress. After several years of declining enrolment, student numbers have increased considerably, with more than 15,000 students – the highest total in the University's history – now registered at the University and its three federated colleges. Faculty members and students are receiving national and international recognition for their work, and the University is attracting more external research funding than ever before. Just as importantly, the University of Regina is becoming increasingly diverse, with approximately 16% of its students from other countries, and another 13% who have self-declared that they are of Indigenous descent.

As President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Timmons maintains a wide-ranging research program, with particular emphasis on family literacy and inclusive education. She is active in the academic community regionally, nationally and internationally, currently serving as Past-President of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Co-Chair of SSHRC’s Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, a member of the Business/Higher Education Roundtable, and a member of the Canada Foundation for Innovation.  She is also a member of the Board of Directors of VIA Rail Canada Inc.

During the course of her career, Dr. Timmons has authored or edited nine books, written more than a dozen book chapters, and authored more than 40 peer-reviewed articles in leading academic journals. She has been either the principal investigator or a co-investigator on more than 30 funded research projects, and has also presented more than 200 invited lectures about her work.

Dr. Timmons received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979 from Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, with a combined major in Psychology and English. She then obtained her Bachelor of Education in Special Education in 1980 from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.  In 1983, she completed her Master of Education in Special Education at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, USA, and she obtained her PhD in Education Psychology in 1993 from the University of Calgary.

Dr. Timmons grew up in Newfoundland and Labrador and spent her early teaching career in Alberta and British Columbia. She moved to Atlantic Canada in 1992 to join St. Francis Xavier University, where she was the chair of the Education Department. In 1996, she joined the Faculty of Education at the University of Prince Edward Island, and became Vice-President, Academic Development in 2001 - a position she held until coming to the University of Regina.

Dr. Timmons has been recognized with numerous awards throughout her career.  These honours have included:

  • Receiving the 2019 Indspire Award for Education;
  • Being named a recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019
  • Being named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2017;
  • Being named one of Canada's "Top 100 Most Powerful Women" in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011;
  • Being named one of the 10 most influential women in Saskatchewan in 2009;
  • Receiving the Canada Post Literacy Award in 2009 and the Canadian Association for Community Living's National Inclusive Education Award in 2010;
  • Receiving the Canadian Association for Education Psychology's 2012 Carol Crealock Award in recognition of her life's work in the field;
  • Being recognized by the Red Cross with its Humanitarian Award in 2013;
  • Receiving the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada Recognition Award in 2014 for her leadership in promoting and supporting diversity within Canadian academic institutions;
  • Receiving the inaugural Gender and Leadership in Higher Education Award from The Inter-American Space for Women Leaders in Higher Education Institutions of the Americas (EMULIES);
  • Receiving the 2016 Leadership Award from District VIII of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education; and
  • Being named the 2016 Citizen of the Year by CTV Regina.


French biography (175 KB)pdf

Chinese biography (242 KB)pdf

Arabic biography (171 KB)pdf

Spanish biography (161 KB)pdf

Portuguese biography (165 KB)pdf

Russian biography (254 KB)pdf