By Joel Wass
Sheldon Levy is a “dreamer.” At least that’s what he said–four or five times–during his speech at his official introduction as the next president of Ryerson. Many adjectives can describe current president Claude Lajeunesse, but dreamer is not at the top of list.
But if a dreamer is what you are Mr. Levy, here’s some free advice on how to have a dream presidential tenure from someone who’s been at Ryerson for a while and, sadly, will be here for a little longer. Keep the beard and smiles coming.
If I was a sensitive man I would have wept when you said being named our president was your proudest moment next to the birth of your children.
You appear to be the friendliest bearded man to arrive at our campus since Raffi sang to Nelson Mandela during the former South African president’s honorary doctorate ceremony.
I’m not asking you to sing Skinnamarink-Dinky-Dink every day, but a kind face could help compensate for Ryerson’s dreary architecture.
Go to Ryerson sporting events–often–and actually have fun while you’re there. I went to a McMaster football game and interviewed university president Peter George after the game. He was sporting a team jersey and was more excited than some of the athletes following the Marauders’ victory.
Sure, Lajeunesse came to a handful of games during his 10 years at Ryerson, but he didn’t exactly start the wave.
You also mentioned in your speech that you want those associated with Ryerson to be proud of that association. I hope you can accomplish that challenge because it’s frustrating, especially financially, to hear students and faculty say, “What do you expect it’s Ryerson,” when commenting on our university’s shortcomings.
And, finally, I understand that you may be friends with Toronto Star reporter Louise Brown and that you worked under TorStar President CEO Robert Prichard while he was the president of the University of Toronto, but do you think you could leak your replacement’s name to the campus papers when the time comes?
I know that’s a petty request, but all of us here are still getting over the Star’s Monday scoop.