President’s Advisory Committee on the Appointment of a Vice President Research

Memorandum to: Governing Council
Academic Board
Business Board
University Affairs Board
Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
Professionals, Managers and Confidential Staff
President of UTFA
Presidents of Employee Unions
Presidents of APUS, GSU, SAC and SCSU
From: David Naylor, President
Date: April 13, 2007
Re: President’s Advisory Committee on the Appointment of a Vice-President, Research: 
   (a) Committee Membership 
   (b) Call for Nominations

Committee Membership

Earlier this year, we announced Professor John Challis’s decision to step down as Vice-President, Research and Associate Provost, and return to his scholarly work. I have now struck a committee to advise me on the appointment of his successor. The Advisory Committee, which I will chair, comprises the following individuals:

  • Dean Cristina Amon, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
  • Professor Meric Gertler, Vice-Dean, Graduate Education and Research, Faculty of Arts and Science
  • Professor Peter Lewis, Vice-Dean, Research, Faculty of Medicine
  • Mr. Joseph Mapa, President and CEO, Mount Sinai Hospital; Government Appointee, Governing Council
  • Dean David Mock, Chair, Council of Health Sciences Deans
  • Dean Susan Pfeiffer, School of Graduate Studies
  • Professor Cheryl Misak, Acting Vice-President, and Principal, University of Toronto at Mississauga
  • Professor Keren Rice, Department of Linguistics and Director, Aboriginal Studies Program
  • Mr. Robert Swier, Graduate Student, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Arts and Science
  • Ms Johanna Weststar, Graduate Student Member, Governing Council
  • Mr. Louis Charpentier, Secretary of the Governing Council, will serve as secretary to the Committee.

Position Specification and Call for Nominations

1. The Opportunity

The University of Toronto invites nominations and applications for the position of Vice-President, Research.

Established in 1827 by royal charter, the University of Toronto is the largest and most prestigious research-intensive university in Canada, located in one of the world’s great urban areas. The University has more than 11,000 faculty and staff, some 70,000 students enrolled across three campuses and over 470,000 alumni. Inclusive of on-campus research spending, the University has an annual budget of $1.6 billion, and its research productivity ranks among the top ten universities world-wide. The University completed a six-year $1 billion fund-raising campaign in 2004. It is now focused on renewing the undergraduate student experience along with expansion of graduate enrolments.

2. The Mandate

The Vice-President, Research will play a leadership role in the achievement of the University’s goals as one of the top public research universities in the world, through work with external agencies and through the fostering of the University of Toronto research enterprise. The Vice-President, Research will be a distinguished scholar and educator with demonstrated excellence as an administrator.

Reporting directly to the President, the Vice-President, Research will have responsibility for promoting and facilitating research through participation in the University’s academic planning, maximizing opportunities for research funding both within Canada and internationally, developing and implementing policies related to research, and providing a full range of research services, including technology transfer, to the University of Toronto. He/she is responsible for advancing the University’s ambitious goals with respect to licensing, company creation and non-profit knowledge transfer.

The Vice-President, Research will work closely with the Provost, the Deans and the Principals to link academic and research planning. In partnership with the Vice-Provost, Graduate Education and other institutional leaders, the Vice-President, Research holds responsibility for the orientation and training of the University community in issues and best practices of responsible conduct of research.

The Vice-President, Research will play an active advocacy role for university-based research at the level of both the Federal and Provincial Governments. He/she should help shape the national research agenda, with attention to humanities, social sciences, physical and life sciences, health sciences, and engineering. Given both governments’ emphasis on innovation and partnering, the Vice-President must be creative in working with industry, foundations, the University’s academic divisions, the teaching hospitals with which the University is affiliated, and the Vice-President, Advancement on partnerships that maximize opportunities for research funding. The Vice-President, Research will also work closely with the Vice-President, University Relations for effective advancement of the University’s research agenda with the Provincial Government and in particular, the Ministry of Research and Innovation. Effective leadership, communication and advocacy skills are critically important.

The Vice-President, Research must promote, in collaboration with the Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions and the Chair of the Council of Health Sciences Deans, a close and effective working relationship with the University’s academic health science network which includes the affiliated teaching hospitals and associated research institutes, to strengthen the necessary partnerships for the advancement of health-related research at the University of Toronto.

The Vice-President, Research will play a leadership role in promoting and supporting international research initiatives and seeking to enhance international research funding opportunities, in concert with various vice-presidential portfolios that have important components of international relations. Most notably, these would include those of the Provost, the Vice-President, University Relations and the Vice-President, Advancement -- as well as academic divisions across the University. In addition, he/she will be responsible for developing cooperative working relationships with his/her counterparts at other universities.

3. Personal Qualifications and Experience

The President’s Advisory Committee is prepared to consider candidates from a variety of backgrounds. Candidates should have a background or personal qualities that include a number of the following dimensions:

  • Exceptional leadership and management skills, with a track record of success in a complex and collegial environment.
  • Outstanding communication skills.
  • A passion for, and deep commitment to, the aspirations of the University of Toronto as a great public institution.
  • A distinguished record as a researcher and educator.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to build and maintain strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • A track record of successfully managing multi-faceted partnerships.
  • Experience in international initiatives.
  • A record and reputation for integrity, openness, decisiveness, and sound judgment, exercised in favourable and in more difficult circumstances.

4. The Appointment

Ideally, the Vice-President will take office in the fall of 2007.

Located in one of the world’s most diverse urban environments, the University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to further diversification of ideas.

The President’s Advisory Committee will begin its consideration of individuals immediately. Nominations and applications, including the qualifications and accomplishments on the basis of which the individual merits consideration, should be submitted in confidence to:

Louis Charpentier
Secretary to the Advisory Committee
27 King’s College Circle, Room 106
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A1

Fax: 416-978-8182