TORONTO, March 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Meric Gertler, a world-renowned expert on
urban issues, will be the next President of the University of Toronto,
Richard Nunn, Chair of the University's Governing Council, announced
The appointment, confirmed by the Council this morning, is for a
five-year term and is the result of an international search that began
in June of 2012. Gertler will become the 16th President in the 186-year history of the University. He will succeed
David Naylor, President since 2005.
Professor Gertler has been dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science - U
of T's largest and most diverse academic division - since December 1,
2008. He joined the Faculty in the Department of Geography 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 United Kingdom, he is the author, co-author or co-editor of more
than 80 scholarly publications and six books. 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.
"Dean Gertler has an outstanding track record at the University for
academic excellence and strong administrative leadership," said Nunn.
"We are pleased those qualities will now be put to use in a new role as
"After an extensive international search, the fact we were able to find
someone of Professor Gertler's stature right here is a testament to the
depth of this great University," added David Wilson, chair of the Presidential Search Committee.
Professor Gertler said he is deeply honoured to be appointed to this
"Over the years, the University of Toronto has, time and again, proven
to be a place of unparalleled learning and discovery, for the best
students and the best faculty," he said. "To be chosen to lead U of T
during a time of great change in our sector is both challenging and
exhilarating. I am following in the footsteps of President Naylor - a
leader who has combined vision, hard work and dedication to propel the
University to compete with the best institutions in the world. This is
a tremendous foundation upon which to build."
Gertler's appointment will ensure the University can build upon its
reputation as a world leader in research, innovation and academic
achievement, said Naylor. "Professor Gertler is a gifted scholar,
teacher, mentor, and administrator whose advice on urban issues has
been sought by governments around the world. Along with an
extraordinary breadth of knowledge and experience, Meric Gertler brings
to the presidency an unwavering dedication to excellence in
post-secondary education and advanced research."
"Over the past few months, I have been impressed by Professor Gertler's
leadership at the Faculty of Arts and Science," added Michael Wilson,
who was installed as the 33rd Chancellor of the University of Toronto on November 12th, 2012. "As Dean, he has worked to ensure the highest quality academic
experience for students. I look forward to working with him in his new
Since 1999, Professor Gertler has held the Goldring Chair in Canadian
Studies in University College and the Department of Geography. He was
also the founding co-director of the Program on Globalization and
Regional Innovation Systems (PROGRIS) at the Munk School of Global
Affairs and has also served as director of the Department of
Geography's Program in Planning.
Professor Gertler holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from McMaster
University, a master's degree in city planning from the University of
California, Berkeley, and a PhD from Harvard University.
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. In the same year, he was
made an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK).
Internationally renowned as a distinguished academic, Professor
Gertler's research focuses on the geography of innovative activity and
the economies of city-regions. He has been a frequent advisor to
government agencies at all levels, both in Canada and abroad, as well
as to multilateral organizations such as the European Union and the
OECD. His research has attracted $8.4 million in external funding.
He has held visiting appointments at Oxford University, University
College London, UCLA, and the University of Oslo. He won the 2007 Award
for Scholarly Distinction from the Canadian Association of Geographers.
Professor Gertler was also a member of the Expert Panel on Business
Innovation established by the Council of Canadian Academies, which
published its landmark report "Innovation and Business Strategy: Why
Canada Falls Short" to wide acclaim in 2009.
SOURCE: University of Toronto
For further information:
U of T Media Relations