Dr. Max Blouw joined Wilfrid Laurier University as president and vice-chancellor on Sept. 1, 2007 after a distinguished career at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) and many years of teaching at St. Francis Xavier University.
Born in Holland, Dr. Blouw moved to Canada in 1957 and became a Canadian citizen in 1963. He holds bachelor's and master's of science degrees in zoology from the University of Manitoba (1972 and 1977 respectively) and a PhD in biology from the University of New Brunswick (1982). Dr. Blouw and his wife Lynn have two sons, Peter and Carl.
Prior to joining Laurier, Dr. Blouw was a key figure at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). He arrived at UNBC in 1995 as a professor of biology, and two years later joined the university’s administration as the associate vice-president and dean of graduate studies. In 2000, Dr. Blouw was named as the vice-president of research. Under his leadership, UNBC became one of the most research-intensive small universities in Canada. When he became vice-president in 1997, the university annually attracted approximately $3 million in research funds. By 2006, that number had reached $18 million. He was also instrumental in growing UNBC’s endowment to an impressive $40 million over that period.
Beginning his career as a biologist in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Winnipeg, Dr. Blouw went on to teach biology at St. Francis Xavier University and zoology at the University of British Columbia before joining UNBC.
Dr. Blouw is well-known on the national scene, and enriches his academic career through volunteer roles that link universities and government with the private sector. His long-standing involvement with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) included acting as an executive council member and as chair of its award selection committees and committee on grants and scholarships. He served two terms as the chair of the university advisory group to Industry Canada and has been a member of the adjudication panel for the Ontario premier’s Discovery Awards, which recognize research excellence of the province’s finest senior researchers. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), AUCC’s Standing Advisory Committee on University Research (SACUR), Executive Heads of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU), Executive Committee of COU, Co-Chair of the College-University Consortium Council (CUCC), Chair of the Standing Committee on Relationships with Other Postsecondary Institutions, a member of the Board of Canada Technology Triangle and of the Accelerator Centre (Waterloo). Dr. Blouw received the 2005 Science and Technology Champion Award from the BC Innovation Council in recognition of his leadership. In 2009, UNBC renamed the Quesnel River Research Centre, The Dr. Max Blouw Quesnel River Research Centre at Likely, in honour of Dr. Blouw’s efforts to have the former federal fisheries research station transferred to the university.