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John Mather


Let’s start the slow clap for Concordia University.


You did what we could never do.


You made former Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse decide to step down as head of your university.

Clap. Clap. Clap.

During his time here, Claude was notoriously difficult with students, staff and media.

It is rumoured he was once a skilled amateur boxer, which is fitting since Claude bobbed and weaved his way through his 10-year tenure at Ryerson.

And as a school, we rarely swung back. But Concordia has won a TKO.

Though it’s not officially a knockout — according to the PR machine, the decision was mutual. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge — we know what that means. Who walks away from at least $275,000 a year? Certainly not Claude.

It’s not like he shies away from controversy: He gave himself a 50 per cent pay raise on arrival at Ryerson.

After that, he spent a lot of time arguing for the deregulation of tuition — a theme he dragged to his new home in fee-frozen Quebec.

It didn’t go over well there, either.

The whole event says a lot about Concordia and even more about Rye.

Concordia managed to force him out.

We managed to pay him more money.

They had him for just more than two years.

We had him for 10.

And so we applaud Concordia.

Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap.

And as for us, the awkward teenage university lost in Canada’s largest city, we have a new president. And so far he’s worked out pretty well.

But who knows, maybe Sheldon will slip up soon — the honeymoon has to end sometime.

And if that does happen, let’s hope we don’t look to our past, but to Concordia — the school with the cajones to dethrone Claude. (Whether or not the school will ever admit that is what happened.)

Thunderous applause.

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