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Job ad: Laurentian University seeks ‘visionary’ leader as new president

Description of top job at Sudbury university places emphasis on ‘transformation’ following CCAA journey
( photo)

Having terminated its president last year as part of its insolvency proceedings, Laurentian University has released the job ad for the top spot at the Sudbury university as it hires its third president in six years (not including several interim presidents).

Selection committees have been assembled by Laurentian for both the president’s job and that of provost, which is also vacant following LU’s insolvency restructuring, which it exited after 22 months in late 2022.

The job ad for the president’s job, which is on the website for executive search firm KBRS, places a lot of emphasis on the university’s transformation following its unprecedented journey under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act (or CCAA).

The ad said Laurentian is seeking “a visionary and relational leader to take on a unique opportunity as president, building a lasting legacy by guiding the institution's transformation.”

The university said the candidate would need to provide “creative and strategic leadership at senior-level decision-making tables during the next phase of Laurentian’s transformation and inspiring reconnection with the university’s unique identity.”

The ideal candidate would have “a demonstrated track record of success in managing change, organizational transformation and rebuilding in a unionized environment.”

Laurentian is looking for someone with “superior skill in financial analysis and planning with a keen ability to establish strategic priorities.”

Preference will be given to candidates with an advanced graduate degree, with a doctoral degree or a relevant terminal degree in their field of study.

Laurentian is looking for an experienced academic administrative leader with a background in research and teaching.

The successful candidate would have the ability to communicate in both official languages. But as an inclusive university with a tricultural mandate, Indigenous candidates need to be fluent in one official language.

Laurentian University’s presidency is a job that has seen a fair bit of turnover in recent years.

Laurentian’s most recent president, Robert Haché, was terminated by LU on a “without cause” basis Oct. 31 as one of the terms of the university’s plan of arrangement under the CCAA.

The university’s provost, Marie-Josée Berger, was also terminated “without cause” late last year under the terms of the plan of arrangement, so Laurentian is also hiring for that position.

Tammy Eger, Laurentian’s vice-president of research, became Laurentian’s interim president for a short period of time in late 2022 until a more permanent interim president could be brought on board.

That interim president is Sheila Embleton, who is being seconded from York University, and began her role on Jan. 1. 

Her contract with Laurentian said it was estimated the appointment “would be for a period of 15 months, but in any event shall not extend beyond November 30, 2024,” so the new president that is currently being hired would need to be in place by then.

Before Haché’s tenure at Laurentian, Dominic Giroux was the president of Laurentian University from 2009-2017, when he left to become the president of Health Sciences North, a job he in turn vacated this month to become the president of Hôpital Montfort in Ottawa.

Pierre Zundel also filled LU’s top job on an interim basis in between Giroux and Haché’s terms as Laurentian president.

Heidi Ulrichsen is’s associate content editor. She also covers education and the arts scene.