By Matt Kwong
By the end of the month, Ryerson’s presidential search committee will recommend one person to replace outgoing Ryerson President Claude Lajeunesse.
Now that Peter Herrndorf-one of the most rumoured hopefuls to take the presidency-has said he’s never been contacted by Ryerson about the job, arts programs may take the news the hardest.
Herrdnorf would have been a candidate the Theatre School in particular would have championed. Herrndorf could have thrived in a leadership role at the university. His credentials (former presiding chair of the Canadian Stage Company and the Stratford Shakespearean Festival, etc.) would convince any Theatre student he’d be a valued voice in a faculty where students typically feel neglected by the rest of the university.
During his term, Lajeunesse’s engineering skills and work in several Canadian engineering societies brought some attention to our engineering programs. The new Centre for Computing and Engineering must also be a nice way to cap off his 10-year term. Former politics teacher Terry Grier worked during his presidential term (1988-1995) to help Ryerson achieve its university status.
Grier’s teaching background probably influenced a change in faculty work patterns, too, giving instructors more research time. Herrndorf’s arts background makes him the best pick for taking a leadership role at Ryerson.
But those are past priorities. Someone like Herrndorf could have eased one of Ryerson’s funding injustices-the old theatre building. Schneiderman said the school has a fundraising plan for a new facility ready.
It’s time to see something come of that, whether it be Herrndorf or not.