Dalhousie University

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Dalhousie University

Motto: ora et labora (Latin: "Pray and work")
Founded 1818
School type Public
President Tom Traves
Location Halifax, Nova Scotia
Enrollment 11,908 Undergraduates 3,611 Graduates
Campus surroundings Urban
Sports teams Tigers

Dalhousie University is a university located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is the largest post-secondary educational institution in the Maritime Provinces.

Dalhousie has traditionally been one of Canada's leading universities. It offers a wide array of programs, including medical and law programmes. Dalhousie is also rated as one of the top research universities in Canada. The chancellor is Dr. Richard Goldbloom with Dr. Tom Traves serving as president and vice-chancellor.



Dalhousie College was founded in 1818 by George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie, the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia. Using money acquired from the duties collected during the occupation of parts of Maine in the War of 1812, Ramsay established Dalhousie as a college open to all people regardless of class or creed. At the laying of the cornerstone on May 22, 1820, Lord Dalhousie said that this University was "founded on the principles of religious tolerance." Dalhousie remained one of only three universities founded on secular constitutional premises until as late as the 1950s. Although it was technically founded in 1818, Dalhousie did not have a student population until about 1860.

Dalhousie was distinctive as an urban institution. This status was seen not only, in the early days at least, in the use of much of the college's lowest floor as vault space for Oland Brewery, but also in the consistent drawing of about one-third of the student body from the Halifax-Dartmouth urban area and in the college's ability to draw upon local professional populations in the establishment of professional faculties such as medicine (1868) and law (1883). Finances remained difficult into the 1880s, but by the end of that decade the accumulated donations of the wealthy alumnus George Munro had provided the stimulus that led to growth in student numbers and the emergence of Dalhousie as a centre of scholarship acknowledged throughout the dominion.

Dalhousie Henry Hicks Academic Administration Building, September 2002
Dalhousie Henry Hicks Academic Administration Building, September 2002

In 1920 the University of King's College in Windsor, Nova Scotia, English Canada's oldest degree granting institution, burned down. Through a grant from the Carnegie foundation, King's College was able to relocate to Halifax and entered into a partnersip with Dalhousie University. While often seen as a separate but integrated institution it shares Dalhousie's Arts and Sciences Faculty, but offers several interdisciplinary humanities degree programmes, such as Contemporary Studies, History of Science and Technology and Early Modern Studies.

Dalhousie expanded its presence in southend Halifax during the 1960s-1970s when it built the Dalplex athletic facility, the Killam library, the Life Sciences Centre, and a district heating plant - all on what is referred to as the Studley Campus (the main campus). Also at this time, Dalhousie built the Tupper Building for its school of medicine and expanded existing buildings to house the Faculty of Dentistry and College of Pharmacy - all on the adjacent Carelton Campus, located immediately to the east of the Studley Campus, and co-located with two of Halifax's teaching hospitals (the Victoria General Site of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre and the IWK Health Centre for Women, Children, and Youth).

Following a period of government-mandated consolidation of post-secondary institutions during the 1990s, the Technical University of Nova Scotia was merged with Dalhousie University in 1997. It was initially known as Dalhousie University Polytechnic, or DalTech, but since 2000 the DalTech name has been dropped and the engineering, architecture and computer science faculties of TUNS are fully integrated into Dalhousie University. The faculties of engineering and architecture are located on what is known as the Sexton Campus, further east from the Carleton Campus and closer to downtown Halifax. The faculty of computer science moved to the Computer Science Building on Studley Campus in 1999.


Dalhousie comprises eleven faculties:

  • Architecture and Planning[1] (http://architectureandplanning.dal.ca/index.shtml)
  • Arts and Social Sciences[2] (http://artsandsocialsciences.dal.ca/index.html)
  • Computer Science[3] (http://www.cs.dal.ca/)
  • Dentistry[4] (http://www.dentistry.dal.ca/)
  • Engineering[5] (http://engineering.dal.ca/index.htm)
  • Graduate Studies[6] (http://www.dalgrad.dal.ca/)
  • Health Professions[7] (http://healthprofessions.dal.ca/)
  • Law[8] (http://law.dal.ca/index.html)
  • Management[9] (http://management.dal.ca/)
  • Medicine[10] (http://www.medicine.dal.ca/)
  • Science[11] (http://science.dal.ca/index.html)

Current Issues

In 2003 there were 10,554 full-time undergraduate students and 2,689 full-time graduate students enrolled at Dalhousie1. The university is facing serious financial problems in the early 21st century, forcing it to rapidly raise tuition fees. Even with the increased tuition fees Dalhousie is facing some financial problems such as being able to pay for more than $100 million (Canadian) in deferred maintenance. In 2002 there was a month long strike by the professors at the university demanding, among other things, that retiring professors be replaced by an equivalent new professor in hopes of maintaining the level of full professors at the university; the number of full-time professors had been declining for some years. The professors' demands on this issue were met.

The university is going through a building phase. A new building for the Faculty of Computer Science opened in October 1999 followed shortly thereafter by the Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building. The Howe Hall residence was expanded with the addition of Fountain House and a new residence was also built, named Risley Hall. The Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building is scheduled to open in September 2005.


Noted Faculty Members

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See also

External links


Note 1: Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (2004). The Directory of Canadian Universities - Dalhousie University (http://www.aucc.ca/can_uni/our_universities/dalhousie_e.html). Retrieved February 5, 2005.Template:NS Uni


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