New chair named for U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities

Professor Amit Chakma, president and vice-chancellor of Western University, Suzanne Corbeil, executive director of The U15, and Professor Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo and new chair of The U15. (CNW Group/U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities)

OTTAWA, Aug. 21, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada's U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities has named Feridun Hamdullahpur, University of Waterloo's president and vice-chancellor its next Chair for a fixed two-year term.

Hamdullahpur, who previously served as U15 vice-chair, assumes the leadership role from outgoing U15 Chair Amit Chakma, Western University's president and vice-chancellor.

"I am honoured to assume The U15 chair, building on the excellent momentum that Professor Chakma and our U15 team have established over the past two years. The establishment of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund earlier this year is a testament to the U15's national leadership on research advocacy and policy," said Hamdullahpur. "Fostering a deep and effective research system for Canada is essential for the country's competitiveness. Looking ahead, we are committed to further enhancing The U15's position as the sector's premier research advocacy forum, actively representing those Canadian universities at the forefront of research and innovation."

Since its establishment in the mid 1980s, The U15 has grown to include the leading research intensive universities from across Canada. Its members foster world-class scholarship that shapes and achieves Canadian and global public policy goals, informs industry partnerships, fosters social, cultural, economic and environmental innovation and advances Canada's international influence and effectiveness.

With the creation of The U15 Directorate in 2012, and the appointment of Suzanne Corbeil as executive director, a more engaged advocacy and government partnership strategy was instituted.

"The U15 has emerged as a powerful voice in Canada and around the world. By driving our research intensive universities towards greater global excellence, it enables Canada to compete with the world's leaders in knowledge creation and translation for the benefit of all Canadians," says Chakma. "It has been my honour and privilege to work with my U15 colleagues, the Government of Canada and other partners as U15 chair as we advance this important national objective. I am delighted that Professor Hamdullahpur will succeed me as chair and I look forward to his continued leadership."

In addition to developing and advocating for the Canada First Research Excellence Fund in Budget 2014, The U15 has maintained and expanded its working relationship with the government to include consulting on a multitude of policies and programs that affect Canada's research priorities.

"Our government is proud to work in partnership with The U15 to ensure our record investments in science and technology continue to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians," says Ed Holder, Canada's Minister of State (Science and Technology). "In his role as Chair of the U15, Professor Chakma's vision, leadership and grace have encouraged Canada's research intensive universities to strive for global excellence to be world leaders. I look forward to working with Professor Hamdullahpur in this tradition through our new legacy commitments like the Canada First Research Excellence Fund."

As Canada's fifteen leading research universities, the U15 undertake about 80 percent of all competitive university research in Canada, rank among the world's premier institutions, and represent a research enterprise valued at more than $5.3 billion annually. Collectively, we produce more than 75 percent of all doctorates awarded in Canada

SOURCE U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities

Image with caption: "Professor Amit Chakma, president and vice-chancellor of Western University, Suzanne Corbeil, executive director of The U15, and Professor Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo and new chair of The U15. (CNW Group/U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140821_C2509_PHOTO_EN_5033.jpg

For further information: Pamela Smyth, Manager, Media Relations, UWaterloo, O: (519) 888-4777, E: psmyth@uwaterloo.ca; Keith Marnoch, Director, Media & Community Relations, Western University, O: (519) 661-2111 ext. 85468, E: kmarnoch@uwo.ca @kmarnoch; Rob Rosenfeld, Director, Advocacy, U15-Group of Canadian Research Universities, O: (613) 695-6755 or 613-695-6855, E: media@u15.ca