By Wojtek Dabrowski
A news report from the nation’s capital says Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse could be one of the top choices to become head of the University of Ottawa later this year. But Lajeunesse said he won’t leave Toronto without finishing his term at Ryerson.
“Claude Lajeunesse will be one of the principal candidates for the job of rector of the University of Ottawa,” said Tuesday’s report in the French language daily newspaper Le Droit, based in Ottawa. “Lajeunesse will see his name on a short list of candidates.”
The University of Ottawa has been seeking a new rector — the title given to the school’s president — since last summer. The rector’s term would begin July 1.
Lajeunesse, who is in the first year of his second term as Ryerson president, refused to confirm or deny that he had been contacted about the job.
“I would make absolutely no comment on the process. If you want to discuss this, you have to discuss this with the University of Ottawa,” Lajeunesse said.
“I was reappointed as president of Ryerson three years ago,” he said. “I said at the time that I was totally committed to Ryerson, that I would complete my term as president, and I certainly intend to do so.”
Pierre-Yves Boucher, secretary of the University of Ottawa, confirmed Tuesday that a short list of rectorial replacements exists, but wouldn’t discuss potential candidates. Even though Lajeunesse holds the presidential post at Ryerson, that doesn’t mean he’s being tossed aside as a possible choice.
“We approached individuals, we consulted very broadly for potential candidates,” he said. “The people we look at all have jobs elsewhere.”
In 1995 Lajeunesse was appointed Ryerson president for a five-year term, after leaving the Association of Universities and Colleges Canada, where he serves as president. In 1998, Ryerson reappointed Lajeunesse to another five-year term, running through to 2005. Last year Lajeunesse earned $157,415 as president of the university.