U of T president-designate Meric Gertler at the news conference announcing his appointment to succeed David Naylor. BERNARDA GOSPIC/THE VARSITY



Professor Meric Gertler, currently dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science, will succeed from David Naylor as president of the University of Toronto, the university has announced. Gertler, who has headed up Arts & Science since 2008, was confirmed as the university’s president-designate at a special meeting of Governing Council on Monday.

“To be chosen to lead U of T during a time of great change in our sector is both challenging and exhilarating,” Gertler said to U of T News. “I am following in the footsteps of President Naylor – a leader who has combined vision, hard work and dedication to propel the University to compete with the best institutions in the world. This is a tremendous foundation upon which to build.”

Naylor’s term is set to end December 31, 2013. The search process for his successor was conducted in by a search committee made up of administrative and teaching staff, full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students, alumni and other appointees. The committee conducted public consultations in September.

Gertler, who will be the university’s sixteenth president, has been appointed for an initial five-year term. Naylor served two terms as president, taking over from interim president (and former Supreme Court justice) Frank Iacobucci.

The appointment of a president from within the University of Toronto’s academic structure follows a long tradition of in-house appointments for the presidential role — Naylor served as Dean of Medicine prior to his appointment, while Robert Prichard (president 1990–2000) was dean of the Faculty of Law before taking on the top job at the university.

Gertler has been a popular figure as dean of Arts & Science, though his term has included prominent controversies over the institution of program or ‘flat fees,’ and a particularly contentious academic plan aimed at restructuring streamlining the faculty.

More details to follow.

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