VIU Campus

Academic Emeritus Designation Nominations

The term “emeritus/emerita” is conferred on retired faculty members as an honour and a means to maintain certain privileges and maintain an ongoing relationship with VIU. Individuals are identified through a nomination process described below.

On October 4, 2012, Senate approved Policy 92.02 and Procedure 92.02.001 - Awarding of Academic Emeritus Designation.

As outlined in Policy 92.02, the Academic Emeritus Designation:

  • Recognizes the outstanding, distinguished contributions of a retired faculty member to the academic life of Vancouver Island University;
  • Recognizes retired faculty members for significant contributions and exceptional service during their long-term association with Vancouver Island University; and
  • Encourages and fosters an ongoing relationship between a teacher, librarian, or scholar and the University after retirement so that the reputation of the University may benefit from the continuing relationship and the recipient may benefit from using the University name in the context of appropriate scholarly endeavours.

An Emeritus may act as a mentor to faculty and students; undertake research projects at VIU; assist with or collaborate on grant or funding applications; and present guest lectures, seminars, and workshops.  For a full listing of activity examples as well as a listing of some of the privileges granted to Emeriti, over and above those provided by VIU to all retirees, please refer to Policy 92.02.

The title of Academic Emeritus is granted without a definite term, which differs from the status of Honorary Research Associate – a title that is held for a renewable term of a maximum of 3 years.

Eligibility for Academic Emeritus Designation, as stated in Policy 92.02:

  • Individuals who have left the employment of Vancouver Island University, normally through retirement, and who usually have served the University for a minimum of ten years may be nominated.

Please visit the Academic Emeritus Designation Nominations web page to download the nomination form.  Forms should be submitted to the Office of the Provost.  Nominations will then be forwarded to the Awards & Honours Committee for review and recommendation to Senate.  Successful candidates will be informed in writing by the Office of Provost, and the Emeritus designation will be awarded at a regular convocation of VIU.  Please note that nominations must include the supporting signatures of at least three faculty members.

Nomination forms are accepted on an ongoing basis, but no later than six months prior to the date of the regular convocation at which the proposed award is to be made.  Nominations for the June 2023 Convocation ceremony must be received in the Office of the Provost by 4:00 pm on December 2, 2022.

If you have questions regarding the nomination process, please email

Michael Quinn, PhD
Provost and Vice-President, Academic

Academic Emeritus Recipients


  • Dr. Steven Earle (Geology)

    A professor at VIU since 1992, Dr. Steven Earle was instrumental in developing and teaching many geology courses. During his tenure, Earle was known as an engaging professor who always had time for students and was constantly developing new ways to engage learners. He is the author of two Earth Science textbooks and an award-winning book on the geology of climate change.

  • Dr. John Lepage (English) 
    Dr. John Lepage’s 30-year career at VIU was spent as an English professor and as Dean of Arts and Humanities. His fondest memories include watching the progress of his students and participating in the evolution of the university. Lepage remains a staunch defender of intellectual freedom and academic integrity, and he is committed to assessing and articulating the place of humanism in the modern university.

  • Les Malbon (Kinesiology) 
    Les Malbon has been inspiring and engaging students at VIU since 1979. He retired in 2021. Long before there was an emphasis on interdisciplinary engagement, Indigenous ways of being and knowing, community collaboration and student wellness on university campuses, Malbon was weaving those concepts and experiences into his professional and personal life. In 2020, he was recognized with a Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Design and Practice: Focus on Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being.

  • Dr. John Morgan (Resource Management and Protection) 
    The students Dr. John Morgan met and taught, as well as the great friendships he made with colleagues, were highlights of his time at VIU. He often referred to his program as the RMOT family, as many grads keep in touch. His advice to graduates: Life after graduation can be a winding road, but it is an opportunity to make those dreams you started pursuing in university come true. Believe in yourself, and with the support of family and friends, you can make it happen!

  • Dr. Robert Willis (Management and Law) 
    A belief that business students learn more deeply through service learning in an interdisciplinary class context drove Management and Law Professor Dr. Robert (Bob) Willis to collaborate with sociology and criminology faculty to create the Community-Based Applied Interdisciplinary Research program. Thanks to this program, students have worked with local organizations to conduct meaningful research in community since 2014. Willis worked at VIU for 15 years and is also known for his collegiality, attention to student learning and servant leadership. 


  • Dr. Tim Goater (Biology)


  • Dr. Katharina Rout (English)


  • Ron Smith (Creative Writing and Journalism, English)
  • Dr. John Black (Liberal Studies)


  • Greg Klimes (Resource Management and Protection)
  • Dr. Kevin Roberts (Creative Writing and Journalism, English)
  • Dr. Gordon Hak (History)
  • Dr. Ken Hammer (Recreation and Tourism)
  • Dr. Jane Watson (Biology)


  • Dr. Timothy Brownlow (English and Creative Writing)
  • Dr. Patrick Dunae (History)
  • Dr. Keith Harrison (English)
  • Griffith Tripp (Recreation/ Tourism)


  • Dr. Robert Lane (Philosophy)
  • Rick Rollins (Recreation/ Tourism)


  • Gary Tunnell (Anthropology)


  • Ian Johnston (English and Liberal Studies)
  • Dr. William Pennell (Fisheries and Aquaculture and former Acting Director of the Institute for Coastal Research)
  • Kathryn Barnwell (English and Women’s Studies)
  • Dr. Helen Brown (History)