UPDATE: President Sheldon Levy to remain for third term as president, up to two years

Ryerson President Sheldon Levy speaks Friday morning about the extension of his term.

Ryerson President Sheldon Levy speaks Friday morning about the extension of his term. (Sean Westelaar/Ryersonian Staff)

Ryerson’s president Sheldon Levy isn’t going anywhere. The committee designated to find Ryerson’s next president declared a failed search this morning and announced Levy will stay on as president for up to two more years.

Despite months of speculation regarding who would be his successor on campus, the presidential search committee will not be bringing any candidates forward, according to a statement by the school Friday morning.

Levy said he was surprised by the committee’s search results.

“Legally it happened at the board meeting yesterday,” he said. “A lot has been happening in the last 72 hours and the board came to me asking me to stay [for] up to the next two years.”

The Ryersonian reported yesterday that Concordia president Alan Shepard was set to be named to the Ryerson job. He contacted the newsroom to deny this and a Concordia spokesperson said he was not on the shortlist. When contacted today a spokesperson said Shepard would not answer any more questions.

Janice Fukakusa, chair of the Board of Governors and search committee, said in a statement “We had sincerely hoped that at this time we would be announcing the completion of our search.”

“However no candidate for the position is being brought forward to the community,” she said.

Levy announced in December 2013 that after two five-year terms at the helm of the campus, he would be retiring from the university.

He said the extension will allow him to finish some of the projects he has lined up for Ryerson, including the Church St. development, acquiring the Empress Hotel property and developing a new residence.

Though previous bylaws at the university would have prevented any president from sitting for longer than two terms, the bylaws were amended in 2012 to allow a president to stay for additional terms of up to five years.

Fukakusa said, “We know that President Levy was making plans for the next phase in his life, and we are very grateful for his support and dedication to the university, and for agreeing to continue in his role.”

The presidential search committee will not be continuing for the time being “for practical reasons,” according to Fukakusa. Due to other commitments some members will no longer be sitting on the Board or Senate, she said.

“While it is unfortunate that we are not as far along as we would have expected, be assured that we are seeking the best possible president for our great university,” she said.

Levy said he’s not “running away from anything” and that being Ryerson’s president is “the best job in the world.”

With files from Nitish Bissonauth

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