By Keith Capstick
Ryerson President Sheldon Levy announced on Monday that he will be leaving his position with the university on Dec. 1, to pursue a position within the Ontario government as the deputy minister of training, colleges and universities.
Levy said that he’s been in conversation with Board Chair Janice Fukakusa but did not provide any specifics as to how a replacement would be appointed.
Levy was initially supposed to leave Ryerson at the end of the 2014/2015 academic year, but decided to stay at the last minute after the presidential search committee he appointed was unable to come up with a suitable replacement.
“I am deeply grateful for the boldness and dedication that have made extraordinary progress in programs and research, new models of learning that challenge the status quo, competitive success, and a culture of people first,” said Levy, in a press release.
Fukakusa released her own statement where she wished Levy all the best on behalf of the Board of Governors and provided insight into the first steps of creating a new search committee.
“Recently I advised the chair and vice-chair of Senate that we intend to create a new Presidential Search Committee to begin work this fall. We expect the new search committee to be confirmed at the October meeting of the Executive Committee of the Ryerson Board of Governors, and to hold its first meeting that same day,” said Fukakusa.
On Monday Levy told The Eyeopener that the Ontario government sought him out for the position and that it wasn’t until July that any of this was put into action. He also expressed that from the moment last year’s search committee was disbanded he and Fukakusa knew it was important to restart the process immediately.
“It happened relatively quickly but we had already planned that restarting the presidential search was going to begin immediately,” said Levy. “If you would have left the presidential search much longer then all of the materials would become old and they would have to re-do all that and would have prolonged the search another year.”
Levy reinforced that the reason he was drawn to the position was the Ontario government’s stance on education.
“They see post-secondary as an investment in the future of our province, and when they start to talk about investment rather than it as a cost, [that caught my attention],” said Levy.
Despite the failure of last year’s search committee Levy said that there were no major changes to the process other than the formation of a new committee as per Ryerson board of governors by-laws.
Levy said that before he leaves there are a number of things he’d like to accomplish and that the transitioning process will have to begin right away. Due to conflict of interest concerns, he said that he would have to end most of his work with the provincial government until he takes his new job.
Levy mentioned finding a new home for the theatre school as a top priority before he leaves.