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Thirteen months later, baloney

In Editorial1 Comment

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By Mohamed Omar

What do you get when you combine a group of grown and capable adults, assign them to a task and pair them up with a professional organization that just so happens to charge a lot of money to assist with that specific task?

Nothing, apparently.

Or, in the case of Ryerson’s hunt for a new president, no one.

On March 6, the school announced that after 13 months of searching for Ryerson President Sheldon Levy’s successor, after extensive consultations with the community to hear their “views on the strengths, characteristics and priorities of the next president,” it had found no one.

Bonkers, isn’t it?

And what continues to boggle the mind is what the presidential search committee did after it failed to find a replacement for Sheldon Levy – it asked him to stick around as president for up to two more years.

Levy told our news editor Jackie Hong that he decided to stay because “you never want to let people down.” That’s adorable.

Few must feel let down, but I’m sure there are many who are confused.

The school was planning a goodbye bash for Levy. That’s donezo.

The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail ran end-of-an-era features on him. Awkward.

The school’s administration is now in an extremely bizarre situation, especially since a Jan. 19 press release claimed that the search committee’s members “have been working diligently and the search process is going well and on track.”

I’m assuming “well” and “on track” actually meant “we are going nowhere,” since the March 6 press release outlined absolutely zero good reasons for the search committee’s failure.

Committee chair Janice Fukakusa wrote that the search had stopped because of “practical” reasons – some committee members had “other commitments, and some will no longer be serving as members of either the Board or Senate.”

Good God. That’s a shit-awful excuse, especially if you consider that 13 months of work and the talents of Spencer Stuart, an executive search consulting fi rm that has offi ces in 55 countries, went into the damn hunt.

I’m sure Sheldon Levy is less than ecstatic about this decision. The man wanted to spend more time with his family – and considering the school changed its bylaws to allow him to serve a third term, he could have stayed if he actually wanted to.

There’s some idiotic – if not downright sketchy – things involved here, and while the search committee can hide behind curtains of confidentiality agreements, there is very little reason for anyone, even Levy himself, to believe that Ryerson truly couldn’t find a new president.


  1. This was the best case scenario for Ryerson. Levy sticking around a couple more years is the equivalent of Michael Jordan hanging around for a few years. It’s a good sign that the committee would rather wait and hire someone who will progress the school than the next Claude Lajeunesse.

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