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Summerlee to continue benevolent reign of barefoot tyranny

Thursday, January 4, 2007

In case you missed it before the holidays, the University’s Board of Governors announced that they’d be extending Alastair Summerlee’s stay in the President’s Office till 2013.

“Dr. Summerlee is doing an exceptional job leading this university,” said Board Chair Douglas Derry. “He is committed to providing students with the highest-quality learning environments; to retaining our excellent faculty and staff; to fostering collaboration and innovation; and to advocating on behalf of the University and for higher education in general.”

Summerlee was first appointed as U of G’s seventh President in 2003, succeeding Mordechai Rozanski in the job. Before that, Summerlee served as provost and Vice President (Academic) at Guelph. He has also held the positions of Associate Vice-President (Academic), Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Dean of the Ontario Veterinary College, where he was a tenured professor in biomedical sciences.

In a months long public consultation process, Summerlee was recognized for a number of initiatives including the establishment of the Presidential Task Force on Accessibility to University Education, the report from which helped shape the provincial government’s “Reaching Higher” initiatives. Other accomplishments cited included the creation of the “Making Poverty History” symposium, the annual “President’s Dialogue” and the University’s Masai Project, which pushed the idea that universities should be active participants in the discussion of pressing social issues. Summerlee was also commended for his leadership in dealing with decreasing government support and University budget shortfalls.

“The board is confident that building on his successes to date and his vision for the future, Dr. Summerlee will deliver in his second term even greater achievements for the entire University community in teaching, research and outreach to the communities it serves,” added Derry.

“It is an absolute privilege for me to serve as president, and I remain deeply honoured to be entrusted with the responsibility,” said Summerlee as he accepted the BoG’s endorsement. “The confidence and support that I have received not only from the Board but also from the internal and external communities have been truly gratifying. I am strongly committed to this university, to its values, mission and, above all, its people. Guelph has enjoyed many successes in the past three years, due entirely to the hard work and commitment by members of the University community. Our collective challenge is to maintain that excellence in the face of some considerable challenges.”

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