Vaccarino Stepping Down as U of G President, Search for New President Begins

A little over one-year from now, Franco Vaccarino will vacate his post as the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guelph. Vaccarino has announced his intention to leave his present office next summer, and the search for a new leader for the U of G now begins.

“Serving as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Guelph has been an extraordinary privilege, and I am deeply honoured to have had the opportunity to make a contribution to this University and its future,” Vaccarino said in a media release.

“This was a difficult decision for me, but transitions are important and timing is important. And I believe the timing is right, both for me personally and for the University, to make this change,” he added. “I have spent a great deal of time and energy working with the U of G community to build on the University’s longstanding history and strengths, balancing our position as a global powerhouse in agri-food and veterinary sciences with being a top comprehensive university. I am proud of what we have accomplished together.”

Vaccarino leaves the U of G at an interesting time as the school struggles with cuts to funding from the provincial government, and students struggle with cuts to OSAP and the rising price of education. From rules about Free Speech to demands that universities prove their value to the job market as a condition of funding, these are very turbulent times for the post-secondary sector.

Still, Vaccario’s outlook upon announcing his retirement from U of G’s presidency is upbeat.

“There are many exciting new programs and initiatives on the horizon, including a broadened national and international role in teaching, learning and research,” he said.” I know that our talented faculty, staff, students, alumni and partners will continue to work hard to take U of G to new heights of success.”

Vaccarino is the eighth president in the University’s 55 year history. He was first appointed to the position in 2014 by the U of G’s Board of Governors, who are now tasked with the process to find a new president for the institution.

“We will work to ensure a smooth transition period for the University, and the University community will be kept informed throughout the process,” said Shauneen Bruder, chair of the University’s Board of Governors.

Bruder also praised Vaccarino for this leadership, and for leaving the U of G in a great place that it might continue to prosper. “Franco Vaccarino has been an excellent president, and the University of Guelph has benefited greatly from his leadership during the past five years,” Bruder said.

“In particular, his creative, positive and strategic vision for U of G has positioned us to build on our reputation in Canada and beyond as a top-tier comprehensive research university.”

For Vaccarino, he will return to the Department of Psychology to continue his teaching career after an administrative leave once his presidential term is complete. This should be good news for the U of G’s mascot Gryph, who seems to be Vaccarino’s co-habitating partner if this video is any indication…

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