Both Levy and Hanigsberg to leave Ryerson this year

Change is in store for the Ryerson community this year, as the departure of two of its key leaders promises to shake up the university’s administration.

Julia Hanigsberg, the university’s vice-president of finance and administration, announced she will be leaving this winter.

She will be taking a new position as the president and CEO of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

“It really brings together my love for learning and researching, along with a long held passion for special needs and kids with disabilities,” says Hanigsberg.

This school year will also be the last for Ryerson president Sheldon Levy as well.

Chris MacDonald, a business professor at Ted Rogers School of Management, believes that the parting of two major figures from Ryerson will cause significant challenges for the school.  He says that when a senior member of a corporation leaves, there is a big hole to fill.

“This is especially the case with regard to (Levy), whose name has become so closely associated with Ryerson’s rise both as an educational institution and as an integral part of downtown Toronto,” he says.

Similar to MacDonald, Bamidele Adekunle, a business professor at Ryerson, believes that Levy’s departure will be significant because of his good reputation in the business world. But he says that Levy and his team have been working on a strategic plan that will ensure that the future of Ryerson is secure. Adekunle believes that the absences of Levy will surely be felt and noticed.

“I think he will make sure that the necessary institutional framework will be established before the end of his term,” says Adekunle.

Hanigsberg says that she does not think her and Levy’s absence will affect Ryerson.

“I think that the great thing about Ryerson is we have so much momentum. It’s not about any one individual, it’s about the team Sheldon put together, the vision he has, the incredible facility, staff and students who all want Ryerson to succeed,” says Hanigsberg.

Janice Winton, the current chief financial officer and assistant vice-president for financial services at Ryerson, will replace Hanigsberg as of Dec. 1.

There has been no word for who Levy’s successor will be.

“I don’t know. I don’t even know who’s in the long list,” says Levy.

When it comes to choosing Hanigsberg’s permanent replacement, Levy says that the new president will heavily influence the decision. However, he believes that for right now, Winton is very capable of handling the responsibilities of the job.

This article originally appeared in print on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.

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