Rene Van Acker

Role: Interim Vice-President (Research), University of Guelph

Dr. Rene Van Acker has been appointed interim vice-president (research) effective July 20, 2023.

Prior to this appointment Van Acker was dean of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) for close to seven years after holding several leadership positions at U of G. Prior to his appointments at Guelph, Van Acker was a professor at the University of Manitoba.

As dean of OAC, Van Acker developed a strong framework and vision for the college through Our Shared Priorities, OAC’s renewed strategic plan, and the OAC Space Visioning Plan, OAC’s first infrastructure master plan in more than 40 years.

Van Acker has a track record of creating new platforms for research, education and outreach — he co-founded the Arrell Food Institute and the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming. He also helped lead the development of the new Guelph Turfgrass Institute, the Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre, the Guelph Food Innovation Centre, the Animal Biosciences Abattoir and Meat Lab, the new Honey Bee Research Centre, renovations to the Arboretum’s Hilton Centre, the new and expanded Student Federation OAC Suite in Johnston Hall, Dairy@Guelph and Soils@Guelph.

An experienced fundraiser, Van Acker has helped attract more than $100 million for OAC, including support to establish more than 20 externally funded chairs and professorships in the college.

Van Acker remains an active faculty member and has published over 130 peer-reviewed works to-date with over 300 other non-peer reviewed contributions. He continues to supervise graduate students, and he co-teaches a capstone course for OAC undergraduate students. He holds BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Guelph and a PhD from the University of Reading in the UK.

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