Update on the Vice-President, International, Government and Institutional Relations portfolio (PDAD&C #24)

From: Meric Gertler, President
Date: January 19, 2016
Re: Update on the Vice-President, International, Government and Institutional Relations portfolio (PDAD&C #24)

On June 30, 2016, Ms. Judith Wolfson will end her term as Vice-President, International, Government and Institutional Relations. She has served in this role since January 1, 2015. Prior to this, Ms. Wolfson served as the Vice-President, University Relations since the inception of that portfolio in July 2006.

As Vice-President, International, Government and Institutional Relations and as Vice-President, University Relations, Judith has worked collaboratively with stakeholders across the entire University to build strong relationships with governments, peer institutions, community partners, as well as with national and international partners. Judith and her team have worked diligently and with passion to foster and strengthen the various relationships that help sustain and advance the University’s role as one of the world’s leading institutions for research and teaching. She has been a highly effective advocate of the University at home and around the world. Over the course of her tenure, she has worked tirelessly on a number of initiatives of importance to the University including, but not limited to: provincial government support for graduate expansion and for funding of capital projects; advocacy on federal government support for research and development; international partnerships with institutions in China, India, Brazil and elsewhere; the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games; and, strategic communications and marketing.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Judith for her exceptional service to the University. Information regarding a formal event to celebrate Ms. Wolfson and to express our gratitude will follow in the coming months.

In February 2015, I announced the appointment of Professor Janice Stein as Senior Presidential Advisor on International Initiatives with a mandate to provide leadership in addressing a key presidential priority to enhance our international activities, partnerships, and engagement for our students and faculty. In this role Professor Stein has been engaged in widespread consultations on the University’s international strategy and the different models for implementing this strategy. What has emerged from these conversations is a strong consensus for the creation of a Vice-President, International Relations to provide continuing strong leadership for these initiatives. Further details on the search for a new Vice-President will be forthcoming.

With regard to the Government, Institutional and Community Relations component of the current International, Government and Institutional Relations portfolio, a new government in Ottawa, the continuing importance of Queen’s Park in defining policy with respect to post-secondary education, and the growing significance of our relationship with city halls in Toronto, Mississauga, and other nearby communities underscore that this function will continue to be critically important to the future success of the University. Given its strategic importance, and following consultation with a selection of senior divisional leaders, this function will be led by a Chief of Government Relations who will report directly to the President. A search to fill this new role will commence soon.