Mount Saint Vincent University announces early departure of president
Mary Bluechardt's term was supposed to last until June 2022
Mary Bluechardt has left the role of Mount Saint Vincent University president more than a year early, and her predecessor is stepping back into the job while the school searches for a permanent replacement.
Anne McGuire, chair of the university's board of governors, sent a campus-wide bulletin about the departure on Friday.
"On behalf of the Board of Governors, I would like to thank President Mary Bluechardt for her leadership over the past four years, and for her work advancing the university's mission," McGuire began.
According to Bluechardt's contract, her term was due to expire June 30, 2022. The contract says she had to advise the board chair by Jan. 1, 2021 if she wanted to renew.
McGuire said Bluechardt had "recently announced" she did not intend to reoffer.
"In light of this, the Board and Dr. Bluechardt have agreed that she will leave the University before the end of her term to permit the Board to move forward on the search process and for Dr. Bluechardt to pursue other opportunities, including her focus on national and provincial board work," McGuire said.
Bluechardt declined to comment about her departure.
Asked why it would be necessary for Bluechardt to step down in order for the board to start its search for a replacement, a university spokesperson said: "The message from the Board Chair indicates both the search and for Dr. Bluechardt to pursue other opportunities."
They said they had no additional information to share beyond what went out in McGuire's email.
Ramona Lumpkin to serve as interim president
In the same bulletin, McGuire announced that Ramona Lumpkin, who served as president of the university from 2010 to 2017, would return as interim president.
"Dr. Lumpkin will provide stability and continuity in leadership until a new president is recruited," McGuire said.
Lumpkin told CBC she'll be starting as interim president on April 1. She said she expects the board to start the search for a permanent replacement right away.
"It's always uncertain how long that will take, but certainly they hope to do an expedited search and have someone in in a few months," Lumpkin said.