Former Atkinson dean named president of Ontario’s tech university

Ronald Bordessa, former dean of York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, has been named president of Ontario’s newest university, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). He will become one of four presidents of Canadian universities who gained major administrative experience at York.

Currently vice-president academic and provost at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC, Bordessa will officially assume his new position in July, replacing founding UOIT president Gary Polonsky. The Oshawa-based university began operations in 2003 and has 3,000 students.

“All of Ron Bordessa’s colleagues at York will join me in welcoming him back to Ontario and wishing him well,” said York President & Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden. “He joins other distinguished presidents from York, including Michael Stevenson at Simon Fraser University, Tom Traves at Dalhousie and Sheldon Levy at Ryerson.”

Ronald Bordessa during his time at York       

Born in Wales, with a PhD in geography from Liverpool University, Bordessa began his postsecondary career in the Geography Department of the old Atkinson College at York, teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He devoted more than 30 years of service to York and was appointed to various academic administrative positions including program coordinator, Urban Studies; department Chair, Geography, and Social Work; and associate dean and dean of Atkinson College, renamed the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies during his tenure in 2000. He also produced books and research papers covering many aspects of social life in urban areas, as well as essays on literary studies, environmental issues and the politics of land development. He joined Royal Roads in 2001.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead UOIT and feel fortunate to bring to it lessons learned from the universities I have been proud to serve,” said Bordessa.

Among the other “York” presidents, SFU’s Stevenson was vice-president academic affairs and provost at York for seven years, Dalhousie’s Traves served as a York dean of arts and Ryerson’s Levy was vice-president institutional affairs.