New presidential search set to begin as Sheldon Levy takes government job

Sheldon Levy (Ryersonian Image Archives)

Sheldon Levy (Ryersonian Image Archives)

The search for a new Ryerson president is on — again.

A new committee in charge of determining current president Sheldon Levy’s successor is being organized and will be confirmed at the first Board of Governors meeting next month. But come Dec. 1 Levy will be headed to Queen’s Park, where he will serve as deputy minister of Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

The Board of Governors will assemble a search committee when it meets at the end of October. Levy’s former position will be held by an interim president if a new candidate isn’t found by the time the president leaves.

That’s almost certain to happen, Levy said, given how tough it would be for a candidate to take over the job that quickly, even if someone is selected before Dec. 1.

Levy said that before his departure there are a few projects he’d like to make sure are “handed off well,” such as the campus development on Church Street.

But in his view, “The university is in very, very good shape.”

“The next president will be one lucky person, she or he, to be able to take the helm of such a great place,” Levy said.

The initial search for a permanent president began last December with the appointment of the search committee. It ended unsuccessfully in July after Concordia University president Alan Shepard announced that he would not be taking the offer, and no other candidate was “brought forward to the community.”

The presidential search committee then disbanded. Board of Governors chair Janice Fukakusa said in a statement that several committee members would be unavailable due to other commitments and some would no longer be serving on either the board or senate.

Erin McGinn, Ryerson’s vice-president communications, government and community engagement, said she doesn’t think Levy’s imminent departure will have much of an impact on the search.

“It’s a process like any other that will take its course, and it just so happens that the situations are converging at this time,” she said.

McGinn declined to comment on who the interim president could potentially be and what qualities they were seeking. “It’ll be the committee’s decision, and I don’t want to speculate at this time,” she said.

For now, much about choosing the president’s replacement remains unclear. The first step is to select the search committee, followed by determining a timeline for the new search and any new qualifications. Details on the process will be released with time.

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