Ryerson President Sheldon Levi is currently serving his second five-year term. PHOTO: MARISSA DEDERER

Search begins for Rye’s new president

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By Ramisha Farooq

The search for Ryerson’s new president has begun as the university’s Board of Governors and Senate have initiated the process of selecting its presidential search committee members.

Once selected, this 13 member committee will begin pulling names of potential candidates for Rye’s top job. Senate selected their four members in a Jan. 14 vote.

So far committee participants include: Provost and Vice President Academic Mohamed Lachemi, faculty member Nancy Walton from the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Usha George, dean for the Faculty of Community Services and faculty member David Checkland from Ryerson’s department of philosophy.

Levy announced that Spring 2015 would mark the end of his career at Ryerson University in a Dec. 3 press release.

The announcement came in spite of by-law changes made last year by the Board of Governors allowing future presidents to serve additional terms at a maximum of five years each, instead of the traditional cap of two five-year periods.

“I felt like it was really the right time. It was nice of them but, I never asked them to change [the by-law],” said Levy.

“This is the best job I have ever had, for as many reasons as there are Ryersonians,” said Levy. “The beauty of every university is that you are putting things in place for the long term, with the academic cycle squarely focused on student success.”

Among committee members, will be a student representative.

“One hundred per cent students will have a say in this. They need a student voice,” said Levy.

“Students will for sure be consulted and will have a lot of say if they’re willing to take the time to express their opinion” said Levy.

The full committee will be completed once the Board of Governors announces its seven picks at a Jan. 27 meeting.

According to university by-laws , Board of Governors chair,  Janice Fukakusa, will lead the search committee and vice-chair Phyllis Yaffe will serve as a committee member.

“President Levy has worked with Ryerson students, faculty and staff to achieve many great things during his two terms as president,” said Yaffe.

“This principle of collaboration, with students always at the centre, has propelled Ryerson’s development and established its reputation.”

Though Levy declined to say who his ideal candidate would be, he did mention that “city building” is an ideology that should be considered given Ryerson’s location in the downtown core.

“They should have as one of their goals to work with the city as a builder. Whether or not it will be as high a priority as I put towards it I’m not sure,” said Levy. “It is very very important for Ryerson to always be seen as a city builder.”

In Levy’s two terms as president there has been a focus on university development and entrepreneurial zones all while attracting the highest ratio in Ontario of student applications to available spaces.

Levy hopes to wrap-up all projects, like the new Student Learning Centre,  before his departure.

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