Sudbury

University of Sudbury appoints new president and vice-chancellor

The University of Sudbury has appointed Fr. John Meehan as their new president and vice-chancellor.

Meehan says one of his goals is to start learning Ojibway.

The University of Sudbury was originally founded as Collège du Sacré-Coeur in 1913. It changed it's name in 1957. (Angela Gemmill/CBC)

The University of Sudbury has appointed Fr. John Meehan as their new president and vice-chancellor.

He begins his term on September 12. 

The school is a part of a federation of four universities that share the Laurentian campus. Laurentian students can take classes in religion, journalism and indigenous studies there. 

In 1913 the University of Sudbury was founded by the Jesuits, an order of Christians who include the current Pope among their membership.

Meehan is the first Jesuit president of the school in 20 years.

"The college has been in that tradition since 1913, but its a tradition that has evolved," he said, adding that Jesuit teaching has long had a focus on social justice.

He wants to continue that ethos, particularly when it comes to developing the character of students at the school.

"Your university degree is not just for yourself and your CV," Meehan said, "but also to give something back to society, and make society a better place."

With varied experience in leadership positions at post-secondary institutions including, most recently, McGill University, he knows that there will be challenges. 

Defining an identity for the school  is one thing he would like to emphasize in his role as president.

"Unless you can be clear about what your identity is people don't understand what your contribution is," he said

Meehan replaces interim president Sylvie Renault. 

He has signed on for a two year term.

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