The Rector is the chief executive officer of Saint Paul University and is responsible for managing its day-to-day operations and directing, promoting and coordinating the activities of the University community. The Rector represents the University to external organizations, both religious and secular, and ensures that the University’s mission, vision and Catholic character are observed and respected.
The Rector is appointed by the Superior of the Notre-Dame-du-Cap Province of the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, with the approval of that organization’s council, on the recommendation of the SPU Council of Administration after consultation with the members of the SPU Senate.
Chantal Beauvais is the sixth rector of Saint Paul University.
Dr. Beauvais was born in Rouyn-Noranda, Québec. During her pre-university studies she joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and served in various positions, including first woman adjutant at the summer training centre in Trenton, Ontario. After working briefly as an accountant at Noranda Mines, she joined the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa. After a period of discernment, Dr. Beauvais left the congregation and enrolled at Dominican University College in Ottawa, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. She subsequently obtained her master’s and PhD in philosophy from the University of Ottawa, where she explored in depth the relationship between faith and reason in the work of the German philosopher and martyr Edith Stein. Dr. Beauvais also holds a post-graduate diploma in public administration from the École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP) in Quebec City. While studying, she held various positions within the public service and in para-public organizations, including the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Accreditation Survey Coordinator, Accreditation Unit, 1999–2001). She chaired the Research Ethics Committee of Gatineau’s Centre de santé et services sociaux (Health and Social Services Centre), where she also served as an expert in ethics.
In 2001, Dr. Beauvais joined the Faculty of Philosophy of Saint Paul University as a professor. Two years later she was appointed interim dean of the Faculty, a position she held until 2006. Under her leadership, the Faculty flourished, particularly thanks to the introduction of its Bachelor and Master of Ethics programs. In January 2007, Dr. Beauvais was appointed Vice-Rector, Administration. During her term, Saint Paul University developed a number of partnerships, notably with Sustainable Living Ottawa East, an organization that helps plan, develop, network and fundraise for projects that support greater community sustainability; Youth Futures, a program that supports post-secondary participation among low-income youth in Ottawa; and Discovery University, a community project that aims to make higher education accessible to marginalized individuals.
In August 2009, Dr. Beauvais became the first lay as well as the first female rector of Saint Paul University. Under her direction and inspired by her drive for change, the University expanded its academic offering, improved the quality of the student experience, strengthened its international presence, and enhanced its internal administration. Her term was renewed in October 2015 for a three-year period.
Dr. Beauvais is actively involved in public sector associations and committees in the areas of research ethics, social integration, and making higher education accessible to marginalized persons. More specifically, she advocates compassion for the most abandoned, inclusion of marginalized persons and communities in the fabric of society, and a more just economy. She serves on the boards of various community and not-for-profit organizations, including the Gîte-Ami homeless shelter in Gatineau and the International Federation of Catholic Universities.
Dr. Beauvais is much sought after for her transformational leadership and innovative approach to change.
Chantal Beauvais is married and lives in Gatineau, Quebec.