The beginning of this school year began ambiguously, as the university’s choice of president, Wendy Cukier, fell through. At least for that moment, Brock was left without a solidified replacement for former President, Jack Lightstone.
Following Cukier’s denouement, Brock’s Vice President of Finance and Administration, Brian Hutchings, took up the role as the university searched for an interim President. Hutchings attended events, meetings, announcements and was an overall much appreciated and active presence in the Brock community
Nearing the end of September, Brock recruited Tom Traves, a recognized Canadian academic and recipient of the National Order of Canada, to serve a one-year term as interim President for the university.
Since then, the university has been placing significant efforts into finding the next Brock President, along with the next Vice-Chancellor . There has been a website created in order for the Brock community to be kept up-to-date with the Presidential search.
Gary Comerford, who is the Vice-Chair for the Board of Trustees as well as Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Presidency, has stated that the board is “confident [that they] will find an inspiring and innovative leader as Brock University’s next President and Vice-Chancellor.”
Along with creating an interactive website available to the public, the Advisory Committee has also put out a questionnaire to the community, hired a search consultant and created a draft of the Mandate and Role Profile for the President and Vice-Chancellor that the Brock community is invited to review and provide feedback on.
The questionnaire closed on January 6, but those that completed it were offered to provide answers to a variety of questions such as “what characteristics and experience should the President and Vice-Chancellor possess?” Additionally, participants of the questionnaire were welcomed to make nominations as to who would fit the role as the next President and Vice-Chancellor which would be sent to the search consultant firm for review.
Brock University has employed Laverne Smith & Associates to assist with finding the next President and Vice-Chancellor by facilitating, researching, and managing the presidential search and all of the possible candidates that apply. According to the presidential search website, the executive search consultant firm is led by Dr. Laverne Smith, who is recognized as an experienced and skilled consultant around North America. Likewise, the firm is said to have conducted over 40 senior administrative searches for Canadian universities since 2012.
With respect to the Mandate and Role Profiles, which is the outlining document that states what the university requires of the position, the Advisory Committee has decided to stick with the same missions, values, and principles that were used in the previous presidential search. The document, which is a lengthy 21 pages, outlines the general outlook of Brock as a university. It explains that a successful president will be one that holds exceptional vision and extraordinary leadership capabilities. Furthermore, the document outlines that the Brock community is searching for a candidate that will work above and beyond to strengthen Brock’s position as a comprehensive university. Most of all, this mandate looks to attract a person who has a bright outlook for the current students and future students, of Brock University.
In the coming months, the search will continue to rapidly progress and the university will be looking for further input along the way, because come September 2017, Brock should be entering the year with a new, innovative, and experienced President as well as a new Vice-Chancellor.
The question thus remains, who will they be?
For more information and to keep updated with the process of the presidential search, visit brocku.ca/presidential-search/ and continue to stay updated with us at brockpress.com.