Interim President to be named in the coming weeks
MONTREAL, Dec. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Board of Governors of Concordia University announced today that, for personal reasons, Dr. Judith Woodsworth will be stepping down as President and Vice-Chancellor of Concordia University as of December 22, 2010.
"I am deeply grateful to Judith and wish to recognize her leadership, achievements, and commitment over the past two and a half years," said Peter Kruyt, Chair of the University's Board of Governors. "Concordia has thrived under her direction, with significant progress and an enhanced reputation on the local, provincial, national and international scenes."
During Dr. Woodsworth's administration, Concordia adopted its first-ever strategic framework following an intensive year of public consultations via town halls, world-cafés, Presidential panels and other discussions. The plan reaffirmed Concordia's strategic commitments to academic quality, an outstanding student experience and community engagement, along with actions to enhance communications and administrative practices.
Dr. Woodsworth leaves Concordia as one of the province's only universities with a balanced annual budget and with one of the smallest accumulated deficits. Her efforts on behalf of Quartier Concordia have transformed the university's footprint and have revitalized the neighbourhood. Both campuses have been abuzz with new construction, including the John Molson School of Business Building, as well as Loyola's Stinger Dome and the current Knowledge Infrastructure Program projects, which have all been completed or are on their way to completion on time and on budget.
Since her arrival, Dr. Woodsworth has made several trips overseas, travelling primarily with official government-led missions for purposes of promoting Québec education, forging educational partnerships and research links and recruiting students. The results have been outstanding for Concordia.
She has taken advantage of professional travel to meet with hundreds of alumni worldwide: in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Mumbai. She has toured North American alumni chapters in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Washington, Boston, New York, Toronto and Ottawa - often sending "travel diaries" to post on her web site to give Concordians back home a flavour for the keen interest the alumni in far-flung places still have in their alma mater. She met with countless donors, prospective donors and friends of the university, in preparation for a major fund raising campaign, and was instrumental in securing or setting the stage for obtaining a number of important gifts.
Dr. Woodsworth loved the students, and got to know many of them despite the sheer size of the student body. She was approachable, and was indeed approached in the library, in Le Gym, in elevators and hallways, in coffee shops around the campus and even out on the street. Convocation was her favourite time of year, and she exuded her characteristic warmth as every student crossed the stage.
Dr. Woodsworth and her husband, Lindsay Crysler, former director of the Journalism department at Concordia, were avid Stingers fans. They made themselves available on evenings and weekends, whenever possible, to attend men's and women's hockey, basketball, baseball, football, and rugby games. They most recently made a special trip to cheer for our women's rugby team who played for gold at the CIS championship in Peterborough, Ontario.
"It was an honour to have been recruited back to the university where I started my career 30 years ago, and to have served at its helm, if only for a short time," President Woodsworth said. "I wish Concordia well and will, in particular, follow the progress of its staff, faculty and students with great interest. I am very proud of what we have achieved in the last while, and I very much appreciate the efforts and support of the internal and external community."
Mr. Kruyt added: "Dr. Woodsworth will be welcomed back to the Faculty should she avail herself of that option."
Over the holiday period, Me Bram Freedman, Vice-President, External Relations and Secretary-General, will serve as Acting President, while an interim President will be named in January. The Board of Governors will, in due course, launch a search for a permanent replacement.
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