R. Peter MacKinnon was born in Prince Edward Island. He has a B.A. from Dalhousie University, a LL.B. from Queen's University, and a LL.M. from the University of Saskatchewan. He was appointed to the faculty of the University of Saskatchewan in 1975 as an Assistant Professor of Law, was promoted to Associate Professor in 1978 and Professor in 1983. He was Assistant Dean of Law from 1979 to 1981, and Dean of Law from 1988 to 1998. He also served as Acting Vice-President Academic during 1996-97. He was appointed as the University of Saskatchewan's eighth President in 1999, and served until 2012, three years into his third term. Named Queen's Counsel in 1990, he is a member of the bar in Ontario and Saskatchewan. He was Chair of the Association of University and Colleges of Canada from 2003 to 2005, and previously served as President of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers, as President of the Council of Canadian Law Deans, and on the executive of the Law Society of Saskatchewan. His academic work included teaching, primarily in criminal law and evidence; and the publication of about twenty-five articles and commentaries in law journals in Canada and abroad. He is also the co-editor of three books. He received the Award for Distinguished Service from the Canadian Bar Association (Saskatchewan Branch) in 2005, an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Regina in 2006, and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012.