Search for a new University president begins

The following memo has been distributed on behalf of the Senate of York University by Senate Chair Pat Bradshaw.

To: Senators, Members of Faculty Councils and Members of the University Community

Re: Presidential Search

As you know, the search for the next president of York University is beginning and will proceed over the next 12 months. The University Senate is charged with electing nominees to the search committee and providing advice to the search committee on criteria that will inform the recruitment and search process, including the qualities and skills we would like to see in the next president. In order to ensure that the search proceeds in a timely way, senate must move forward on these matters in September and October and, on behalf of the senate executive, I am asking that members of the community respond to the following two matters:

1. Senate nominees to the search committee:

This is a first formal call for the nominations of senate’s nominees to the search committee. Senate executive will construct a slate of candidates and senators will vote for the nominees but nominees need not be senators.

According to the protocol governing presidential searches the search committee will have 14 members:

  • 7 members nominated by the University Board of Governors, one of whom shall be Chair, one of whom shall be an alumnus/alumna of the University and one of whom shall be a non-academic staff member
  • 7 members nominated by York Senate following election by senate, including five faculty members, one undergraduate student and one graduate student.

The faculty members and/or librarians nominated by senate will be comprised of the following:

  • From Arts, Atkinson and Glendon, 2 nominees
  • From Science & Engineering, 1 nominee
  • From Osgoode and Schulich, 1 nominee
  • From Education, Environmental Studies, Fine Arts and Libraries, 1 nominee

The slate of student nominees will be proposed by the Student Senator Caucus and confirmed by the University Senate Executive.

In constructing a slate of individuals for nomination to the committee, senate executive will be guided by recognized senate nomination guidelines and will seek persons who have extensive knowledge and affection for our university. It is intended that the nominees should reflect the University’s diversity and should include both those who have a deep experience of York and those whose involvement with the University will be largely during the term of the next and future presidents. In keeping with senate’s recognized nomination and election principles, senate’s nominees should serve as respected and trusted individuals rather than as “representatives” of constituencies and must not have conflicting obligations that might compromise their ability to serve. Candidates should appreciate and accept both the time commitment required of members of the committee and the requirement of the highest level of confidentiality concerning the search documents and deliberations.

Senate executive will present the slate of candidates at the senate meeting of Sept. 22. This means that the names of individuals who wish to be considered for nomination, or who are being nominated by others, must be communicated to the executive committee by its meeting of Sept. 13.

If you wish to be considered for nomination, or wish to nominate someone, you may do so by sending an e-mail or other written nomination to the secretary of the University, Harriet Lewis, at

The nomination should be accompanied by consent of the nominee to nomination and to the time and confidentiality requirements, and a brief description of the nominee’s relevant characteristics and qualities.

2. Senate’s advice on criteria:

The search protocol provides that University Senate will provide advice to the committee on criteria to inform the search process and such advice will be approved by senate based on a draft text prepared by the executive committee. Senate committees and Faculty councils will be invited to contribute to the development of Senate’s advice, and should be prepared to discuss and share their views with senate executive in early October.

It is contemplated that there will be additional consultation with a wide range of individuals and groups and thus many opportunities for all members of the University community to communicate directly with the search committee but it is particularly important that the collegium express itself through the senate process.

Time lines:

Sept. 13
Senate Executive Meeting reviews nominations, prepares slate of recommended candidates and requests input from senate committees and Faculty councils on criteria for the search.

Sept. 22
Slate presented to senate and election is called.

Sept. 30
E-balloting for nominees concludes.

Oct. 11, Nov. 8
Senate executive considers input from senate committees and Faculty councils on criteria for the search and qualities of the next president.

The presidential search principles and more information about senate’s involvement can be accessed on the University Secretariat Web site here