Departure of Vice-President and Provost, Professor Vivek Goel



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FROM:  David Naylor, President, University of Toronto
DATE: February 27, 2008
RE:  Departure of Vice-President and Provost, Professor Vivek Goel


It is with mixed feelings that I announce the departure on June 30, 2008 of Professor Vivek Goel from his post as Vice-President and Provost of the University of Toronto.

Professor Goel has been appointed as the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of an important new health-related organization. This is an outstanding opportunity for Professor Goel, one that is uniquely aligned with his years of academic research in public health and senior administrative experience. Although the University is losing an outstanding administrator, the new organization will be important to the health and well-being of all Ontarians. My regret at Vivek's departure is tempered by satisfaction that the new organization will be led by someone so capable and my pride that our colleague and Provost is taking on these vital responsibilities.

Professor Goel has served as U of T's Vice President and Provost since 2004, having served as Vice-Provost, Faculty since 2001. Prior to that he was Chair of the Department of Health Administration, later the Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. In his new role Professor Goel will maintain a status appointment with the University and will continue to be engaged in teaching and graduate supervision.

As Provost, Professor Goel played an essential role in providing stability and continuity during 2004 and 2005 as the University went through senior leadership transitions. His rare combination of strategic sense and meticulous attention to detail has been extraordinarily valuable to the institution. During his term the University implemented the Stepping UP strategic plan, a new framework for tricampus administration, and a new budget model. The Provost has also been a facilitator and champion of initiatives such as the Arts Council, the Roundtable on the Environment, the School of Public Policy, the development of Varsity Stadium and the Multi-Faith Centre, the ongoing graduate expansion, and the renewal of student life services on the St. George campus. More generally, Vivek brought to the role of Provost an encyclopaedic knowledge of this University, together with his personal values of fairness, respect for academic freedom, concern for the student experience, and commitment to high standards of scholarship. He will be missed by a great many members of our community, not least by those of us who have worked most closely with him.

Looking ahead, I would emphasize first that the Provost has signaled his intent to press forward with a variety of projects and initiatives. We can be confident that Professor Goel will serve with his usual skill and energy in the weeks ahead. As well, in the next short while, I shall bring forward to governance a recommendation for the appointment of an Interim Provost who will take office on July 1 2008. Results of the Towards 2030 initiative will help guide the timing of the search process for a permanent successor as well as the scope of the relevant responsibilities for the next Provost.
Other steps are also pending to ensure the stability and continuity of the Office of the Provost. Fortunately, we can draw on some very talented and experienced individuals in that regard as we continue to rely on strong divisional and central leadership.

Last, there will be other opportunities for us to formally express our appreciation to Professor Goel. In the meantime please join me in wishing him every success as he plans his transition.