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New Principal of Victoria College Announced

Jun. 06, 2024

Alex Hernandez

Victoria University is pleased to announce that Professor Alex Eric Hernandez will be the next principal of Victoria College beginning July 1, 2024. The Executive Committee of the university’s Board of Regents approved his appointment today. 
Victoria College is one of two colleges that make up Victoria University, a federated university with the University of Toronto. 

“Professor Hernandez is a respected academic, grounded in the humanities, who has been recognized for his teaching and is known for his collaboration and creative, interdisciplinary thinking,” said Victoria University President Rhonda N. McEwen, who put forward his recommendation to the board. 

“He will bring to Victoria experience in shaping curriculum and university programs, building scholarly communities, and navigating timely discussions in the classroom. These attributes are at the heart of what we value at Victoria College.” 

Hernandez is currently an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Toronto where he specializes in the literature and culture of the 18th- and early-19th century. He was recognized with a Faculty of Arts & Science Outstanding Teaching Award in 2021. 

He also serves as Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies, in the Department of English, where he works with faculty colleagues and administrative support staff to implement curricular and extracurricular programming, oversee the hiring of lecturers and collaborate with partners across the university to enhance the undergraduate experience.

Hernandez has been involved in growing networks between alumni and current students, developing a new internship program to complement other career transition supports, and expanding the department’s Creative Writing programs.  

Hernandez previously served as the Faculty of Arts & Science Special Advisor on Liberal Arts Education, where he led a team of administrative and academic partners in imagining a first-of-its-kind program at U of T that combines interdisciplinary liberal arts seminars with tailored internships at many of the country’s top organizations, underwritten by a competitive scholarship. 

Alongside partners in the Provost’s Office and the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation, Professor Hernandez has also led a series of workshops on navigating tensions between equity, diversity and inclusion and academic freedom in the classroom across U of T. 

Hernandez is already familiar with Victoria University, having been appointed an associate of Victoria College in 2019. 

“I’m incredibly honoured to join Victoria University’s leadership team and I look forward to working alongside the college’s outstanding faculty, students and staff to strengthen its community and champion the kind of signature learning and research opportunities that make Vic such a truly unique place,” Hernandez said. 

Hernandez received his PhD in English Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles, his hometown. His first book, Modernity and Affliction: The Making of British Bourgeois Tragedy, was published by Oxford University Press in 2019. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. 

Hernandez succeeds Professor Angela Esterhammer who served as Victoria College principal for 12 years.  

About Victoria University in The University of Toronto 

Victoria University, federated with The University of Toronto, was founded in 1836 and is one of the oldest universities in Canada. As a recognized leader in undergraduate education in the arts and sciences and in graduate education in theology, Victoria University creates an environment where students discover how to match their distinctive talents to some of the world’s most pressing issues. It is home to two outstanding colleges. Victoria College—with its small class sizes, its distinctive first-year programs, and its exceptional students—is recognized as one of the most rewarding places in Canada to pursue an undergraduate education. Emmanuel College prepares students from many faiths and backgrounds for leadership roles in religious contexts. The iconic campus is located on the east side of Queen’s Park, south of Bloor Street, in Toronto.

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