Physics CAO Peter Hurley honoured with Chancellor’s Leadership Award

March 21, 2023 by A&S News

Peter Hurley, the chief administrative officer of the Department of Physics in the Faculty of Arts & Science, has been honoured with a Chancellor’s Leadership Award for Distinguished Leadership.

Established in 1999, the Chancellor’s Leadership Award is part of the University of Toronto’s Pinnacle Awards Program, which recognizes exceptional contributions by administrative staff and librarians.

Recipients of the award demonstrate outstanding leadership and significantly advance the University’s mission to foster an academic community in which the learning and scholarship of every member may flourish.

Hurley is an outstanding leader who has demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment to the Department of Physics over the past 31 years and is deeply engaged in all aspects of managing a large and complex department to support its teaching and research mission.

As a consummate professional with an unparalleled understanding of technical, managerial, financial, and policy issues, Hurley is incredibly effective in his role. He is proactive in identifying issues, creative in solving problems, known for his kindness and responsiveness, and universally admired throughout the department.

Many research programs have benefitted from his support in designing and supervising the manufacture of scientific instruments during his time as technical services manager, and his development and implementation of student machine shop and electronics workshop courses has provided numerous students with practical skills and hands-on experience.

He has also supported many faculty members with complex renovations and upgrades to establish cutting-edge research labs, including the recent expansion of the High Energy Physics Clean Room for an international collaboration. Committed to supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion in the department, Hurley spearheaded the conversion of washrooms in the physics tower into all-gender facilities.

Hurley’s support of the department’s teaching, research, administrative, and technical operations during the COVID-19 pandemic were truly exceptional. He oversaw the transition to working from home, supported the move to online teaching, and facilitated the gradual return to campus. As an essential worker, he worked on site, ensuring the provision of critical services and keeping the members of the department well-informed with tireless dedication.

Outside the department, Hurley is a mentor in the Rose Patten Mentorship Program and member of the Faculty of Arts & Science South Joint Health and Safety Committee. He has served on the Arts & Science Faculty Council, the Academic Board of Governing Council, and the Planning and Budget Committee, and is respected for his well-informed contributions.

The Chancellor’s Leadership Awards are aligned with the University’s broader Awards of Excellence Program.