Dr. Karen Hitchcock served as Queen's University's 18th Principal and Vice-Chancellor from July 1, 2004 until April 2008.
During her tenure at Queen’s, Dr. Hitchcock began a strategic initiative to help articulate and define directions and goals for the University’s next decade. In December 2006, following approval from the Senate, the Board of Trustees approved Engaging the World: A Strategic Plan for Queen’s University. In 2007, work then began on the Queen’s Centre, a student life and athletics facility on campus. Shorly afterwards, the University acquired land near campus and began making plans for the Isabel Bader Centre for the Arts.
In the summer of 2008, Dr. Hitchcock oversaw the opening of Innovation Park at Queen’s University, a facility designed with the goal of bringing together academic and industry researchers to work in fields such as alternative energy and environmental technologies, with a focus on bioeconomy and advanced materials research.
Dr. Hitchcock received a BSc in biology from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, in 1964, and a PhD in anatomy in 1969 from the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry. As a Postdoctoral Fellow, she did research in pulmonary cell biology at the Webb-Waring Institute for Medical Research at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
Dr. Hitchcock later moved to Tufts University in Boston where she became the George A. Bates Professor of Histology and Chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology in the Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.
From 1985 to 1987, Dr. Hitchcock was Associate Dean for Basic Sciences, Research and Graduate studies for the School of Medicine, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. She then served as Vice Chancellor for Research, Dean of the Graduate College, and as a Professor of anatomy and cell biology, and as a Professor of biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Dr. Hitchcock was appointed President of the University at Albany, State University of New York, in April 1996 after serving as Interim President (beginning in August 1995) and Vice President of Academic Affairs from 1991 until 1995. She held the position of President until 2003.
In April 2008, Dr. Hitchcock resigned from her position as Principal of Queen's University. She was succeeded by Dr. Tom Williams.