Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
July 15, 2003
Alastair Summerlee begins term as U of G's seventh president
Alastair J. Summerlee begins his role as the seventh president of the University of Guelph today. He succeeds Mordechai Rozanski, who will become president of Rider University, a 138-year-old independent university in New Jersey, Aug. 1.
It’s the first time in U of G’s history that an internal candidate has been named president. Summerlee, whose career as a scholar, professor, researcher and administrator spans nearly 30 years, joined the U of G faculty in 1988 as a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. He was named an associate dean of the Ontario Veterinary College in 1992, dean of graduate studies in 1995, associate vice-president (academic) in 1999, and provost and vice-president (academic) in 2000.
“I am strongly committed to the University, its values, mission and, most important, its people,” Summerlee said. “I plan to build on our strong foundation of excellence in teaching, creative achievements in the arts, innovative research and scholarly distinction in the humanities, social and applied sciences and sciences, and to further enhance the reputation of the University.”
Summerlee has continued teaching while holding administrative positions and was awarded a prestigious 3M Teaching Fellowship in June for outstanding leadership in teaching, education and academic program development. He is the only U of G professor to earn the honour while serving as an administrator and is the first president-elect in Canada to be named a 3M Fellow. He was also recognized with a Distinguished Professorial Teaching Award from the U of G Faculty Association in 1991. His research in biomedical sciences is also acclaimed internationally. He has attracted significant money to support his research, published extensively and been an invited lecturer at universities and colleges around the world. He holds a B.Sc., B.V.Sc. and PhD from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom and is a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
“Dr. Summerlee brings with him an appreciation of understanding of Guelph’s traditions, as well as first-hand knowledge of our strategic directions for the future,” said Michael Walsh, chair of the Board of Governors and the Presidential Selection Committee. “He has the vision, creativity, dedication and talent needed to be our president.”
Among Summerlee’s initial priorities for U of G is to ensure that the University continues on its path of preparedness for the double cohort and builds its research capacity through people and facilities, including the new classroom complex, Rozanski Hall, a science complex and the new University of Guelph-Humber building.
Summerlee and his spouse, Catherine, have two daughters, Madeleine and Lydia, and a son, Maxwell.
For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.