This week, the Western community welcomed David Cruise Malloy, BA’83 (Physical Education), MA’86, as the ninth Principal at King’s University College.
Led by the Rev. Mark Sargent, Chair, Board of Directors, the ceremony included an evening prayer and installation on Wednesday at The Chapel at Windermere on the Mount. The evening prayer service was led by the Rev. Michael Bechard, Director of Campus Ministry at King’s. Choir and orchestral music was arranged by Janet Loo, Campus Minister and Director of the King’s University College Chamber Choir.
“What makes King’s unique is the interaction between the values of the liberal arts – critical thinking, inclusion, diversity and curiosity – and those values rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition – to value every person and to value them holistically, to embrace uncomfortable truths and to do so through a dialogue of inclusion rather than division by embracing both/and rather than either/or,” Malloy said in his installation address.
“The result of this alchemy is an ethos of caring and educating; of authenticity and effectiveness; of skill and meaning that is embraced by our faculty, our staff and our students. This ethos is reflected in the way in which we perceive our students and each other – not as means to ends or as empty vessels to be filled or automatons to be processed for the workforce, but rather as unique individuals in the process of becoming.”
Malloy enjoyed a 30-year career with the University of Regina, both as a faculty member and administrator, and as the Vice-President (Research) since 2013. Previously, he held positions as Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research, and Associate Vice-President (Research), all at the University of Regina.
Throughout his career, he has maintained an active research portfolio with a focus on applied philosophy in health care. His interests include ethical decision-making, codes of ethics, existential hardiness, personhood, and ethical climate/culture. This research has been funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), WorkSafeBC, and Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation.
Malloy’s current research, funded by CIHR, concerns moral injury and first responders.
“At one functional level, we teach, we research, and we prepare our students for their careers and we do this very well by all measures,” he continued in his address. “At a higher level, we work to instil a search for meaning of becoming. It is this search for meaning and the education and skills we foster that make King’s University College a place to be, a place to become.”
Below is a portion of his installation speech to the campus community.
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I’d like to begin tonight borrowing an idea from the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180) and his work entitled Debts and Lessons. In this first book of the Meditations, he recounts what he has learned from his teachers and how they influence his own leadership.
For example, from his adopted father, Marcus Annius Verus, he learned: Gentleness and unshaken resolution in judgements, love of work and perseverance, readiness to hear those who had anything to contribute to the public advantage.
My own Debts & Lessons include the following mentors:
From Western’s great track coach Bob Vigars, I learned passion for work and the challenge of living the philosophy of existentialism – freedom & responsibility. I continue to be open to the possibilities.
From Dr. Pakinanthian Chelladurai, my masters supervisor and one of Western’s most prolific academics, I learned about the complexity of leadership, of organisational behaviour and culture. Under his guidance I learned how to be a scholar. I continue to be a student;
From Dr. Donald Lang, my doctoral mentor, I learned about values and applied philosophy and how leadership is truly philosophy-in-action. I continue to be curious.
From Group Captain Dennis Gralan Malloy, a great leader, his gift to me was empathy – to put myself in the other person’s shoes. I continue to try to understand and appreciate others.
From Valerie Sluth, I learned about being grounded and genuine. I continue to be in awe.
From these wonderful people, and there are many more to whom I’m in debt (as a musician, thank you John, Paul, George, and Ringo – seriously, thank you), I have come to view leadership as so much more than the simple utilitarian execution of organisational goals and objectives.
The synthesis of all of this wisdom has led me to believe that the true purpose of leadership is to create an environment, a place, in which meaning can be found – a place where we can become, that is, where we can flourish. I believe this to be the primary function of leadership – like a Socratic midwife pulling meaning from those who we serve – the rest is important and must be done – but it is secondary.
So you can imagine when I learned that King’s motto is “A place to be. A place to become.” it seemed like fate, karma, a gift from god, and perhaps a bit of good luck.
So this wonderful institution has come a long way in 65 years.
From a graduating class of 17 men with a faculty complement of 11 men in 1957, King’s now boasts a total enrolment of over 3,850 students of which 55 per cent are female with a faculty complement of 100 of which 51 per cent are female professors.
This growth has moved King’s to be undeniably one of Canada’s great university colleges.
We have grown in stature, in prestige, and in impact on the London community and the globe through our student/alumni leaders, our outstanding professors, and our dedicated staff.
One notable event back in 1958 was reported in The Kingsmen (the name of the university paper at the time): “We have just learned that the third floor has piled 32 fellows in the phone booth. If anyone has any ideas on how to get them out please contact us immediately.”
What is as funny is to try to imagine where one would find a phone booth today on campus or anywhere else.
King’s is a liberal arts university college, the largest of the three affiliated colleges to one of Canada’s great postsecondary institutions, Western University. For those not familiar with the term, University College, it is perceived as an academic extension or component of a larger university and is often religious-based.
For example, Cambridge is made up of 31 different colleges, such as Trinity, Emmanuel, Clare, and King’s College. Like many other postsecondary institutions, we teach an array of courses in a variety of disciplines from Philosophy to Thanatology; from Accounting to Social Work. While we do this well – actually exceptionally well – our value proposition extends far beyond the transmission of knowledge.
What makes King’s unique is the interaction between the values of the liberal arts – critical thinking, inclusion, diversity, and curiosity – and those values rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition:
To value every person and to value them holistically;
To embrace uncomfortable truths; and
To do so through a dialogue of inclusion rather than division by embracing both/and rather than either/or.
The result of this alchemy is an ethos of caring and educating; of authenticity and effectiveness; of skill and meaning that is embraced by our faculty, our staff and our students. This ethos is reflected in the way in which we perceive our students and each other – not as means to ends or as empty vessels to be filled or automatons to be processed for the workforce, but rather as unique individuals in the process of becoming.
So at one functional level, we teach, we research, and we prepare our students for their careers and we do this very well by all measures. At a higher level, we work to instil a search for meaning of becoming.
Confucius hoped that we would live in “interesting times” and here we are.
Climate change threatens our existence; technological changes challenge our capacity to understand the world around us; political instability; xenophobia; homophobia; Islamophobia; and tribalism causes us to question the very nature of democracy, the collective good, and our very purpose in life. The challenges we face are monumental and they cannot be solved by technology alone nor will they be solved by the liberal arts alone.
It is the balance of science and humanism in the context of meaning that will provide us with the best chance of survival. Pope John Paul II’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae, echoing the calls from Heidegger, Frankl, and Marcuse, states that “scientific and technological discoveries create enormous economic and industrial growth, but they also, inescapably, require the correspondingly necessary search for meaning in order to guarantee that new discoveries be used for the authentic good of individuals and of human society as a whole.”
It is this search for meaning and the education and skills we foster that make King’s University College a place to be, a place to become.
As we sit here tonight, King’s is in a very good place. Our enrolment is trending well; our teaching remains globally renowned; our research is growing and impactful; and our working culture is extremely positive. King’s reputation in our many communities – domestic and international – is enviable.
Our students are successfully finding exciting careers and post-graduate research opportunities. This is a function of outstanding commitment and engagement from so many individuals not the least of which are Principals’ Wemple, LaRocque, Carrigan, McKee, Morgan, Mueller, Killan, and Sylvester and all the people who supported their leadership.
Certainly, we will continue this wonderful trend and build on King’s tradition. We will do this by enhancing our teaching and research impact and relevance. We will do this by further developing our capacity for experiential learning and grow what is already an outstanding student experience. We will do this by being stewards of our newly acquired land and all of its potential for the future of the King’s community.
However, we have an obligation to go further and deeper than this.
It’s not enough that our students are well-prepared to be functional and functionally successful – this is a given for all postsecondary institutions. Our students must be aware of the possibility for meaningful work and be the catalyst for their organisations and communities to flourish, that is, to be places where employees can become.
This is not an idle promise.
This is what we do at King’s.
This is what distinguishes us now.
This is what will guide us into the future.
And this is how we will serve as leaders.