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Memoriam for Dr. Archibald (Archie) McNicol, associate dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies

December 9, 2016 — 

The university community is saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Dr. Archibald (Archie) McNicol, associate dean of the faculty of Graduate Studies. Dr. McNicol, 56, succumbed last night to complications from a heart problem.

Dr. Archibald (Archie) McNicol

Dr. Archibald (Archie) McNicol. // Photo from College of Dentistry, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.

Dr. McNicol earned a BSc (hons) and a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Glasgow and had been with the University of Manitoba since 1993 when he joined the department of oral biology in what was then the Faculty of Dentistry.

He did postgraduate work at the Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology studying intracellular signaling mechanisms in platelets in patients with bleeding tendencies.

His advisor was MLA Jon Gerrard, who was teaching in pediatrics at the time and conducting research on bleeding and clotting in children and adults.

“I am very sorry to hear of his passing,” Gerrard said. “Archie was a good friend, and was a fine researcher, being very skilled and talented in the laboratory. He was great to have around and he will definitely be missed.”

Dr. McNicol’s research on bleeding disorders had been continuously funded by local and national agencies for 20 years. He served on local and national grant review committees and was an associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology.

Dr. McNicol held cross appointments in the departments of dental diagnostics and surgical sciences, and in pharmacology and therapeutics. He taught in the College of Dentistry, the School of Dental Hygiene and the College of Rehabilitation Sciences within the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. His teaching was recognized with several teaching awards, most notably the W.W. Wood Award for Excellence in Dental Education. A well-loved teacher, in 2007 Dr. McNicol was presented with the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching to Dental Hygiene Students.

He was involved with the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competitions and was an enthusiastic supporter of graduate student research. His own globally-recognized research focused on blood-clotting mechanisms and the function and dysfunction of human platelets.

Nationally, Dr. McNicol had been involved in dental education as a member of both the Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry Faculty Chairs Committee and the Canadian Dental Association Council on Education.

McNicol made significant contributions to service within the College of Dentistry, the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the University at large. He served two terms on Senate, one term on the Senate Executive, and had been on the Senate Planning and Priorities Committee, the President’s Budget Advisory Committee, and the Senate Appeals Committee. He was chair of the review of graduate programs at the U of M.

Dr. Todd Mondor, acting dean of graduate studies, expressed sympathy on behalf of everyone in his faculty. He noted: “Archie was well liked across both campuses. He was very committed to education and the university, and his passing is a blow to all of us.”

Dr. McNicol leaves behind two young children, Ian and Fiona, and his wife Shelly.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Archie McNicol Scholarship fund through the online gift form found here.

19 comments on “Memoriam for Dr. Archibald (Archie) McNicol, associate dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies

  1. Jayanta Debnath

    Really saddened and shocked by the news (passing away) of Dr. McNicol. I had a chance to work with him in the Senate Committee of Appeal as a Graduate Student member for few years. He was such a nice person, I can’t believe the news. May God rest his soul in eternal peace.

    Reply
  2. Juliette Cooper

    I am so very sad to hear of Archie’s passing. He was a wonderful, supportive colleague whose wisdom will be sorely missed. My profound sympathy to Shelley and his children.

    Reply
  3. Ian Sutherland

    I first met Archie before we even started school – we were friends through all of our school and university years. While we have not been in touch for a few years, he remained a part of who I am, and our shared experiences are incredibly important to me.

    As a fellow scientist, I was enormously proud of Archie’s achievements.

    He was a good friend, and the world is suddenly a poorer place.

    Reply
  4. Laura MacDonald

    Such sad news. Archie was one of those people who exemplifies fair mindedness, wisdom, and deep care for others. I share the profound sense of loss in his passing as he was such a generous, insightful person. I valued his counsel. His laugh will be missed. May his children, wife and family know how much he meant to his colleagues. His love for them was well known.

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  5. Lisa LaBella

    This is truly heartbreaking news. Archie was a friend and house-mate in the late 80’s with a few of us PhDs and Post-docs sharing both the costs, and the ups and downs of life in general, on Home Street in Wolseley. There is no risk of being ‘overly’ kind when speaking of Archie. What a gem. What a genuine article who found his path in life early. And what passion! He could get passionate about what mattered to him most on any subject, without ever making it personal (so I imagine he was a terrific teacher and administrator as well as researcher- capacities I never knew him in). And with his open heart and open mind, he put up with us Canadians in the house and our slightly wilder ways, and I remember it like it was yesterday (and have the photos to prove it). I can’t imagine this loss for his wife and kids. Our rare bumps in the hallways of HSC the last several years, always made my day. A smile, a laugh and a massive hug each time, that seemed to transcend the years. Very sad news.

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  6. Marnie Donovan

    So sad to hear! Our paths crossed a number of times when I was with Dean’s Office, Faculty of Health Sciences. My condolences to his family.

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  7. Glenn Clark

    I met Archie only a little more than a year ago, when we were both involved with the Individual Interdisciplinary Studies committee. I could not have imagined a more thoughtful, helpful, and kind colleague. After attending only a few meetings with him, I realized that every time I saw him I would feel cheerier than I had moments earlier. It saddens me deeply to know that I won’t have those little rushes of pleasure from Archie’s presence any more.

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  8. Sharon Macdonald

    Archie was a great colleague,always helpful, always positive, a good man. And proud of his Scots heritage! May his children know he was respected and will be missed, not only at home but also at the university. Sincere condolences to his family and friends.

    Reply
  9. Jennifer Mactavish

    I am so very sorry to hear of Archie’s passing. I recently enjoyed a lovely evening sharing memories of our adventures in FGS while at the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies meetings in Toronto. A thoughtful, kind, sensible and caring colleague, gone way too soon. My sympathies to his family and all those who had the privilege of being his colleague.

    Reply
  10. Ian W Jones

    Archie McNicol was an exceptional man who made a difference. His contribution to our community is indescribable as his friendship, support, contributions, and shared wisdom meant so much to so many.
    My deepest sympathies to Shelly, Ian, and Fiona.

    Reply
  11. Robert Wood (President, WCDGS)

    On behalf of the Western Canadian Deans of Graduate Studies I offer my most sincere condolences and sympathies. Archie was a friend to many of us, in addition to being an exceptional colleague. He will be deeply missed.

    Reply
  12. James Gilchrist

    I am still devastated by Archie’s passing and deeply saddened by the impact of this upon his family and close friends. We were hired at the same time in the Department of Oral Biology and developed a close and collegial friendship from that point on. I shall miss him dearly, as we all will. He was a star, an inspiration, a leader and, a true gent and caring family man. God bless you Archie. You were a gem. Beannachd leat, a charaid.

    Reply
  13. Ali Wood-Warren

    Archie’s passing is surely a great loss to the UM community and to his friends and family. He acted with compassion, integrity and fairness in all my professional dealings with him. In personal conversations, he often shared how especially proud of his children he was. My thoughts are with his family.
    We’ll miss you Archie!

    Reply
  14. David Mandzuk

    On behalf of my colleagues in the Faculty of Education, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the McNichol family. Archie was a wonderful colleague who was thoughtful, had a great sense of humour, and an ability to bring people together. We are indebted to him for his many years of serving the University and putting students first!

    Reply
  15. Lisa Fainstein

    I had the privilege of working with Dr. McNicol as part of Senate Appeals and the Associate Dean’s Committee. We have lost a funny, honest, sensitive and open minded colleague. I learned much from observing how he conducted meetings and investigated issues. He will be missed.

    Reply
  16. Arlene Young

    I worked with Archie on the Senate Appeals Committee, which he chaired, for several years. His wisdom and compassion made some very difficult deliberations much easier to manage; his sense of humour made some very vexing situations easier to deal with. He was a wonderful colleague. I am deeply saddened by his passing. My sincerest sympathies to his family.

    Reply
  17. Craig, Avie, Eddie

    We (Avie Strong, Eddie McKean, Craig Fyffe) are having a wake here in Alexandria on the day of Archie’s funeral. We have all known Archie for 45+ years and are absolutely devastated at the loss of a great friend and a wonderful, decent,t human being. Archie will be remembered fondly, with a mixture of respect, warmth and happiness. From football in the back garden or Subbuteo (table football) in the house at 11 years old and discovering 70’s music in our teens to philosophical discussions in our 50’s. Archie’s contributions and subtle humour will stay with us forever and we will always be proud knowing we were amongst those he held in as much affection as we do him. As we raise a glass of Talisker our thoughts are with Helena, Shelly, Ian and Fiona.

    Reply
  18. COGNASSE

    Archie and I had worked together for 10 years and published several scientific publications. Archie was a supportive and generous collaborator. He was also a very precious friend. My profound sympathy to his wife and his children. I will never forget his kindness. May God give him eternal rest and the family the strength to bear the great pain.
    Dr Fabrice Cognasse (from France)

    Reply

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