Charlotte Yates Named President

Charlotte Yates, provost and vice-president (academic), has been appointed to lead the University of Guelph on an interim basis for two years beginning Aug. 2.

U of G’s Board of Governors made the unanimous decision March 24. The Board also announced that the search for the University’s ninth president and vice-chancellor has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many other Canadian universities have also halted leadership searches. The Board will relaunch the search at an appropriate time, says Shauneen Bruder, chair of the Board of Governors who also chairs the Presidential Search Committee.

“COVID-19 is creating much uncertainty, both now and for the future,” she says. “We expect that even once the crisis subsides, the implications will be long-lasting. At the same time, there are many other strategic imperatives the University must address to continue to move forward.”

President Franco Vaccarino will conclude his term Aug. 1. “Understanding the importance of stability and continuity during these unprecedented times, the Board made the decision to appoint Dr. Yates as president for two years,” Bruder says.

“Her significant experience and extensive knowledge of the complexities and challenges facing the University will enable her to act immediately on priorities during this critical period.

“Beyond that, the Board has great confidence in her ability to build on the positive momentum generated by president Vaccarino’s leadership, and is empowering her to fully use her skills, energy and knowledge to advance the University’s mission and vision.”

Appointed as provost in 2015, Yates has focused on building a strong leadership team, including recruiting and on-boarding five new deans and numerous other key academic leaders; developing and enhancing mentoring, training and equity initiatives; and strategic planning, particularly in budgeting, enrolment management, internationalism and data management.

Before joining U of G, she was dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at McMaster University. Yates is known for her research and expertise in the automotive industry, labour issues and public policy. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Winnipeg, a master’s degree from Queen’s University and a PhD from Carleton University.

“I am deeply honoured by the trust the Board has placed in me to lead the University of Guelph during this challenging time,” Yates says.

“I welcome this opportunity. The University has extraordinary, dedicated faculty, staff and students and exceptionally strong academic and administrative leaders. Working together, we will rise to meet the challenges before us while also enhancing our reputation for quality and