The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.
Despite opposition from professors, Laurentian University president Dominic Giroux received unanimous support from the school’s board of governors for a second term that will extend to June 30, 2019.
The board endorsed the unanimous recommendation of the Presidential Review Committee to renew his term as the school’s president and vice-chancellor.
“The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive about the university’s accomplishments and progress since Dominic Giroux joined us,” Floyd Laughren, chair of Laurentian’s board of governors, said in a release. “Our board is extremely pleased with president Giroux’s performance and we are excited by the compelling vision that has been presented for the years ahead. We are fully confident that president Giroux is the leader to make the vision a reality.”
But not everyone at the university was pleased with the decision to give Giroux a second five-year term as president. A vote from the university’s faculty, before the Presidential Review Committee’s recommendation, did not go in his favour. Giroux took that in stride, however.
“One of our esteemed professors who has worked with every president or acting president of Laurentian University, except the very first one, reminded me that all previous presidents and acting presidents ended up on the negative end of that vote,” Giroux said in an interview.
He said he had to make tough choices in 2009 to restore a balanced budget at Laurentian, when it had the largest deficit in proportion to total revenue of any university in Ontario.
“Any president who does that may face some criticism along the way, especially with the fact that there had been quite an increase in faculty hiring in previous years while enrolment had been declining,” Giroux said.
Giroux arrived at Laurentian as a relative outsider to both Sudbury and the world of higher academics. He worked as a civil servant in Queen’s Park with the Ministry of Education and unlike most other university presidents, did not have a PhD.
“The role of a university president isn’t to do research, it isn’t to be an academic,” said Laughren in an interview. “You do have to understand the academic world and the importance of research and so forth, but at the same time there’s a lot more to it than that.”
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