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Brock cancels planned appointment of first female president

Dr. Wendy Cukier, vice-president of research and innovation at Ryerson University, was set to become Brock University's first female president. But her appointment will not go forward, according to Brock's board of trustees.

Wendy Cukier was 4 days away from starting her new job as president

Wendy Cukier won't be Brock University's first female president after all. (brocku.ca)

The Brock University board of trustees says their planned appointment of the school's first female president will not go ahead — just days before she was due to start.

Dr. Wendy Cukier, formerly vice-president of research and innovation at Ryerson University, was set to fill the role. The announcement means the school will start the 2016 term without a president.

The university announced last year that Cukier would replace Jack Lightstone, who finished his term with Brock on June 30. Brian Hutchings, the university's vice-president, administration, is acting president.

Last December, Cukier said that she wanted to help "build on Brock's strengths, expand its partnerships and enhance its reputation, its reach and its impact."

"Working together, I believe the possibilities are limitless," she said on the university's Brock News website.

But on Monday, John Suk, chair of Brock's board of trustees, said in a statement that they'd made a "mutual decision" to part ways. The statement offered little insight into why the division happened, except to say that Cukier would continue with her research.

"Dr. Cukier will continue her work on innovation, on diversity and her active engagement with industry and community organizations," he said. "We wish her all success in her future endeavours."

Cukier, a Brock alumna, would have been the first female president in the university's 51-year history. She is known for her research in emerging technology and innovation, and for her social justice advocacy.

With files from CBC

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