Rt. Honourable Michaëlle Jean to step down as University of Ottawa chancellor

Posted on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, recently elected secretary general of La Francophonie, is stepping down as chancellor of the University of Ottawa. Allan Rock, president and vice-chancellor, made the announcement today on campus.

“It is with great regret that Michaëlle Jean informed me she will have to step down due to her extensive new responsibilities, her frequent travel and her many obligations as secretary-general of La Francophonie, which covers 80 countries on five continents. She would have liked to continue with her work as chancellor and her involvement with the University,” said Rock.

The former governor general began her term as chancellor of the University of Ottawa, the largest French-English bilingual university in the world, on February 1, 2012.

In addition to representing the University at various events and presiding over numerous convocation ceremonies with a rare level of energy, giving individual attention to each graduate, Michaëlle Jean has worked vigorously and with conviction to raise awareness of our programs both in Canada and abroad. She has been a catalyst for several partnership agreements between the University of Ottawa and institutes of higher learning in French-speaking countries. She has spoken passionately of the excellence of our programs and the linguistic duality which is at the heart of our mission.

“On behalf of the University, I would like to offer my sincerest and warmest thanks to Mme Jean for the outstanding leadership she has shown as chancellor. We have benefitted greatly from her credibility, her personality and her diplomatic missions,” said Rock.

The chair of the Board of Governors, Robert Giroux, also applauded Ms. Jean's commitment to the University. “Throughout her time here, we felt her genuine attachment to our university's mission to offer higher education and seek excellence. Her talents as a communicator, as well as her connections with key stakeholders around the world, have also served us well. We're very grateful to her.”

The University will soon begin work to name the next chancellor, according to an established selection process. Mme Jean has agreed to remain in office until a successor has been appointed, although she will not be able to participate in our Spring Convocation.

The University of Ottawa—A crossroads of cultures and ideas

The University of Ottawa is home to over 50,000 students, faculty and staff, who live, work and study in both French and English. Our campus is a crossroads of cultures and ideas, where bold minds come together to inspire game-changing ideas. We are one of Canada's top 10 research universities—our professors and researchers explore new approaches to today's challenges. One of a handful of Canadian universities ranked among the top 200 in the world, we attract exceptional thinkers and welcome diverse perspectives from across the globe.

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