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Thanks for a nice thoughtful post.

With respect to your point on background,John Deutsch at Queen's, one of the two best Presidents I encountered, came directly from the Economic Council and had spent most of his career in government.

The other, Bill Saywell at SFU, was a great cheerleader who raised SFU's image of itself within the university and outside.


Should have added "good luck with your search."


Thanks for the comments John. I know John Deutsch was the first chairman of the Economic Council of Canada. I am not as familiar with Bill Saywell - I think he was a historian but for some reason I thought he was also at York as there was a Saywell there who was a historian.

There were two Saywell brothers. Jack was a historian and a founder of York. Bill was a historian of China at U of T.

"A university president at the drop of a hat must be able to clearly articulate a vision..."

Maybe, but it needs to be a vision which the members of the university subscribe to. Simon Fraser University's president -- Andrew Petter -- has a vision for SFU, and it's all about being "engaged"; our students are "engaged", faculty are encouraged to be "community engaged" with their research, et cetera. What does it all mean? Nobody seems to know exactly... but the presidents' frequent use of the words "engaged", "engagement", and "community" has turned into a drinking game.

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