Dr. Greg Keefe appointed as UPEI’s Interim President
The UPEI board of governors has appointed Dr. Greg Keefe, dean, Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC), as the new interim president, effective December 13.
Keefe grew up on a small, mixed farm in Kinkora, Prince Edward Island, which helped to develop his interest in large animal farming, particularly dairy cows. He left the Island to do the pre-veterinary program at the former Nova Scotia Agricultural College—now the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University—and then earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Guelph.
He returned to PEI to practice veterinary medicine in the western region of PEI where he carved out a small niche as a mastitis expert. In 1996, after a period as an instructor at OVC, he joined AVC as a tenure-track associate professor, becoming a full professor in 2005. In addition to his DVM, Keefe holds a Master of Business Administration in agriculture from the University of Guelph, and a Master of Science in epidemiology from UPEI.
In March 2015, Keefe became the sixth Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Atlantic Veterinary College.
A widely published researcher, Keefe is an author or co-author of over 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers. His areas of research expertise include milk quality and mastitis, dairy production medicine, infectious disease epidemiology, and Johne’s Disease. He has been the recipient of numerous teaching and research awards, including the Norden Distinguished Teaching Award and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Award for Advancement of Large Animal Medicine in Canada.
He has held positions as the Innovation P.E.I. Dairy Research Chair, Professor of Dairy Production in the Department of Health Management at AVC, and is the former President of the Deans Council—Agriculture Food and Veterinary Medicine (Canada). He has served on the Advocacy Committee of the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleagues (AAVMC) and joined the AAVMC Board in June 2018. He is also the director and founder of Maritime Quality Milk, growing the research and service program into one of the leading dairy health centres in Canada. Keefe frequently presents at regional, national, and international conferences and events.
During his tenure as dean, Keefe worked with a strong leadership team on curriculum and infrastructure renewal. This resulted in AVC securing accreditation in 2017 from the American Veterinary Medical Association Council of Education for the maximum seven-year period without deficiencies. With teams in AVC’s two primary service areas—diagnostic services and the veterinary teaching hospital—new clinical services were developed. This led to overall growth in teaching caseload of 80 per cent in six years. Throughout the pandemic, AVC’s Dean’s Council and Infection Prevention and Control teams were viewed as a model of collaborative leadership.
Most recently under his leadership, AVC announced a multi-phase expansion of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital including a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner as part of a diagnostic imaging centre that will serve all of Atlantic Canada. This will also include a footprint expansion which will allow the hospital to continue to grow service and teaching capacity.
When asked about his accomplishments as dean, Keefe cited growth in well-being supports for students, engagement of Indigenous youth in the AVC Dr. Tim Ogilvie Vet Camp, and increased opportunities for veterinary students to participate in research during their training.
“It is an honour for me to assume the role of interim president of UPEI,” said Keefe. “I’m passionate about the success of our students, the dynamic work UPEI faculty and staff are doing, and the important role UPEI is playing in our region and beyond.”