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New Laurentian president could be named very soon

Search committee has identified candidate, ‘still some levels of approval to go’
Laurentian University's interim president, Sheila Embleton, speaks before a Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce luncheon audience Sept. 26, 2023.

Following all of the turmoil of Laurentian University’s 2021-2022 insolvency, the termination of the former president and an interim president steering the ship in the meantime, the Sudbury school could have a new permanent leader very soon.

Laurentian's interim president, Sheila Embleton, revealed this news during the Nov. 21 meeting of the university’s senate.

She said the presidential search committee, chaired by LU board of governors chair Vern Cameron, has identified its candidate.

There are “still some levels of approvals to go,” she said, with special senate and board of governors meetings to be held dealing with this agenda item in the near future.

Embleton spoke about the topic in both her written and verbal president’s report, as well as in response to a question during the meeting by senate member Shannon Bassett.

Following a presentation on Laurentian’s draft 2024-2029 strategic plan, which is under development, Bassett asked whether LU’s new president might be able to have some input before the plan is finalized.

“We're talking about possibly a special senate meeting, certainly before the (Christmas) break, which might lead to the appointment of a new president,” Embleton said.

“I don't want to preclude the discussion that may happen there. I mean, there’s still some levels of approval to go. But one might assume that one would have a person named certainly by January, and then there can be some input.”

She did caution that there should be a limit as to how much influence any given individual, including the president, should have on a strategic plan.

“We kind of want it president-proof, in some sense, because otherwise, you know, a new president, completely new direction,” Embleton said.

“Basically, you want that person to be helping to lead the plan, but not to change the plan or to ditch one or two things.”

Embleton, who was seconded to Laurentian from York University to fill the interim position after the termination of former LU president Robert Haché last fall, began work with Laurentian on Jan. 1 of this year.

Her secondment contract estimates her time at Laurentian will last 15 months, but said it will not last beyond Nov. 30, 2024. 

Heidi Ulrichsen is's assistant editor. She also covers education and the arts scene.