Rene Van Acker

Rene Van Acker

Professor and Dean, Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph (Guelph, ON)

May 31, 2023

Rene Van Acker is Professor and Dean of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC). Prior to his appointment as Dean, Rene was Associate Dean External of OAC and previously chair of the department of Plant Agriculture. Prior to his appointments at Guelph, Rene was a professor at the University of Manitoba. As Dean, Rene has developed a strong framework and vision for the college through Our Shared Priorities, OAC’s new strategic plan and the OAC Space Visioning Plan, OAC’s first infrastructure master plan in more than 40 years.

Rene has a track record of creating new platforms for research, education, and outreach; he co-founded the Food Institute (now the Arrell Food Institute), and the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming. He also helped to lead the development of the Guelph Turfgrass Institute, the Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre, the Guelph Food Innovation Centre, the Animal Biosciences Abattoir and Meat Lab, the Honey Bee Research Centre, the Student Federation OAC Suite in Johnston Hall, Dairy@Guelph, Soils@Guelph, and renovations to the Arboretum’s Hilton Centre. Rene also fundraised for and facilitated the establishment of over 25 externally funded chairs and professorships for OAC. He has extensive experience in fundraising and has helped to fundraise over $100M to-date for OAC.

Rene remains an active faculty member and has published over 150 peer-reviewed works to-date with over 300 other non-peer reviewed contributions. He continues to supervise graduate students and he co-teaches a capstone course for OAC undergraduate students.

Rene holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Guelph and a PhD from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom.

Role: Panel Member; Panel Member
Report: Atypical Food Production Technologies for Canadian Food Security ; Water and Agriculture in Canada: Towards Sustainable Management of Water Resources (February 2013)