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David Farrar

David H. Farrar is the President and Vice-Chancellor at McMaster University and a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Dr. Farrar took up the position of Acting President in July 2019, having served as Provost and Vice-President (Academic) since October 2017, and was appointed President in December 2019.

Dr. Farrar joined McMaster from the University of British Columbia where he served as Provost from 2007 to 2015, and subsequently as Advisor to the Interim President and then as Interim President and Vice-Chancellor. Prior to that Dr. Farrar served as Deputy-Provost and Vice-Provost Students at the University of Toronto, where he had responsibility for all central enrolment, student affairs and student service activities.

Dr. Farrar received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Toronto, and his doctorate from the University of Western Ontario. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge and then a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto for 26 years. During that time he also served as Chair of the Department. He has authored or co-authored over 80 technical papers, holds five patents, and has supervised more than 25 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Dr. Farrar has also served on several external Boards.

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From night shifts at Dominion to paying the bills with patents: In conversation with David Farrar Learn More

We talked to McMaster’s new president about his lifelong love of chemistry, his stomach-churning first teaching experience and what he’s reading now.