Launch of the Presidential Search Process and Call for Nominations for Membership of the Presidential Search Committee

Launch of the Presidential Search Process and Call for Nominations for Membership of the Presidential Search Committee [PDF]

Memorandum to:
University of Toronto community

Anna Kennedy
Chair of the Governing Council

Date: March 22, 2024

Re: Launch of the Presidential Search Process and Call for Nominations for Membership of the Presidential Search Committee

On May 19, 2022 the Governing Council approved an extension to Professor Meric Gertler’s second term as President, from June 30, 2023 to June 30, 2025. Then Chair of the Governing Council, Brian Lawson, stated that there was unequivocal support for President Gertler continuing in his role, given his track record of exceptional leadership, and that an extension was in the best interests of the University as it provided important continuity and stability in leadership and momentum as the University emerged from the pandemic. I am deeply grateful for President Gertler’s continued outstanding leadership of the University and look forward to continuing to work with him as he completes his second term.

I am now announcing the launch of the Presidential Search process and issuing a call for nominations for membership of the Search Committee that will have responsibility for recommending President Gertler’s successor.

Search Committee

The Policy Respecting the Appointment of a President (1999) specifies the process to be followed, the composition of the Search Committee, and the manner in which the Committee conducts its affairs and makes its recommendation.

The composition of the Presidential Search Committee as specified in the Policy is as follows:

  • The Chair of the Governing Council or a lay member of Council appointed by the Chair (Chair of the Committee),
  • 2 Appointees of the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council to the Governing Council,
  • 3 Alumni of the University, who are neither staff nor students of the University,
  • 5 Members of the teaching staff of the University, no more than two of whom may be current holders of academic administrative posts,
  • 1 Member of the administrative staff of the University, and
  • 3 Students (one full-time undergraduate, one part-time undergraduate and one graduate student).

The Committee need not have a majority of its members from Governing Council. The Secretary of the Governing Council, or a person approved by the Executive Committee, shall be Secretary of the Search Committee.

Selection Guidelines

The membership of the Committee is approved by the Governing Council on the recommendation of the Executive Committee. Further to the General Guidelines and Principles for Selection of a Presidential Search Committee (2012) and in keeping with the intent of the Policy, several factors are considered to ensure that the Search Committee as a whole:

  • reflects the organizational complexity and diversity of the University community.
  • contains a wide range of experiences and skills that will be relevant to the work of the Committee, that is the perspective of excellent working scholars and also those who are involved with University leadership and policy issues.
  • brings together specific kinds of expertise that will help the Committee evaluate presidential candidates’ multi-dimensional capabilities in such areas as: overall leadership, fiscal management, and relations with internal and external communities, including staff, students, governors, alumni, public office holders, corporate and community leaders and donors.
  • conducts its affairs in camera and adheres to strict standards of confidentiality on matters related to the Committee’s work.

The Guidelines provide further information about the very high standards for the individual members of the Search Committee, as well as details on the experience and profile characteristics. (In considering potential nominations a review of the Guidelines is recommended.)

Expectations of each member will include:

  • investment of the substantial amount of time required for the Committee, including, at times, day-long meetings,
  • commitment to the requirement that the Committee will conduct its affairs in camera, and,
  • willingness to adhere to strict standards of confidentiality on matters related to the Committee’s work.

Each member of the Search Committee will be required to adhere to a Charter of Expectations, to be endorsed by the Executive Committee, and to sign a confidentiality agreement.


Nominations for persons to serve on the Committee should be submitted by Friday, April 12, 2024 and should include:

  • the individual’s curriculum vitae and contact information,
  • a brief statement outlining the rationale for proposing the individual for membership, and
  • confirmation that the individual is willing to serve if appointed by the Governing Council.

Submissions should be sent in confidence by email to Sheree Drummond, Secretary of the Governing Council -

Next Steps

The Committee membership will be considered by the Executive Committee at its meeting on May 7, 2024 and the Governing Council will then be asked to approve the membership at its meeting on May 16, 2024. It is expected that the Search Committee will begin its work shortly thereafter.

The work of the Committee will also be supported by an executive search firm. A Request for Proposals process is currently underway, and the name of the successful firm will be announced in a later communication.

As the process unfolds, there will be communications to the University community to seek input and to provide appropriate updates. Information will be available on the Presidential Search webpage. Questions or comments may be directed to