Friday, March 8, 2013

Appointment of the 16th President of the University of Toronto

Memorandum to:   Governing Council
Members of the Academic Board
Members of the Business Board
Members of the University Affairs Board
Members of the College of Electors
Principals, Deans, Academic Directors, and Chairs
Professionals, Managers, and Confidential Staff
President, UTFA
Presidents of Employee Unions
Presidents of APUS, GSU, UTSU (SAC), UTMSU and SCSU
President, University of Toronto Alumni Association
Alumni of the University

From:                       Richard B. Nunn
                                 Chair of the Governing Council

Date:                        March 4, 2013

Re:                           Appointment of the 16th President of the University of Toronto

At a special meeting this morning, the Governing Council approved the appointment of Professor Meric S. Gertler as the 16th President of the University of Toronto for a five-year term, effective on a date to be determined but not later than December 31, 2013, and continuing to June 30, 2018.  His appointment follows an extensive international search initiated in June of last year.  He will succeed Professor David Naylor, who has served as President since October, 2005.

Professor Gertler has been Dean of the University’s Faculty of Arts and Science since 2008.  He joined the Faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Program in Planning in 1983 after receiving his doctorate from Harvard University.  A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a member of the Academy of Social Sciences in the UK, he is the author, co-author or co-editor of more than 80 scholarly publications, and six books.  Since 1999, Professor Gertler has held the Goldring Chair in Canadian Studies in University College and the Department of Geography.  An internationally-recognized urban theorist, his academic work focuses on the economies of cities, the urban foundations of innovation, and the role of creativity, culture and diversity in urban life.  In May 2012, he was awarded an honorary doctor of philosophy from Lund University, Sweden for his exceptional contributions to the fields of economic geography and regional development.

Professor Gertler has an outstanding track record characterized by academic excellence and strong administrative leadership.  He has successfully integrated his highly-respected scholarship on urban life with advancing the University’s partnerships and engagement locally and internationally.  For several years, he has provided policy advice on urban matters to governments both here and abroad.  Professor Gertler brings to our University and to his new role an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and experience.

Prior to becoming Dean, Professor Gertler served as Interim Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science for a nine-month period.  At the time, he had been Vice-Dean, Graduate Education and Research, since 2005.

Visit the University of Toronto website ( for more information and to view the media conference live via webcast, scheduled to begin at 12 noon today.

Please join me in wishing Dean Gertler well as he prepares to assume office as our next President.  Over the course of today and tomorrow, we will be inviting various groups of academic administrators, faculty, staff and students to join me and the President in meetings on each of our three campuses to introduce our President-designate.

In closing, I would like to thank members of the Presidential Search Committee for their enormous commitment to this important search process and its outcome.  I would also like to thank all of you who contributed to the success of our work with your thoughtful input.

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