Get to know the public figures who will be making headlines in The Varsity this year:
Munib Sajjad | UTSU President
Sajjad leads the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) for a one-year term, with a team of elected and appointed student executives and their assistants, plus a handful of permanent staff. The union, which represents more than 44,000 students, collects and re-distributes around $34 in student fees per student each semester. The UTSU offers many services and perks to members, including discounted movie and sports tickets, selling monthly metropasses, distributing agendas, and providing campus-wide clubs with funding and leadership training. The union is also heavily involved in advocacy, lobbying the provincial government on post-secondary issues and representing the student body’s concerns to the administration. During exam season, the union distributes care packages in libraries, and it hosts a major concert and clubs fair every frosh week. Sajjad assumes the presidency in the midst of controversy, as some student societies are in the process of trying to leave the union citing concerns about allegedly undemocratic and unrepresentative practices.
Michael Wilson | Chancellor
As Chancellor, Wilson is the ceremonial figurehead of the administration and the public face of the university. When you convocate, Wilson will be the one in the resplendent robe on stage, shaking your hand and handing you your degree. Wilson was Minister of Finance in Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservative government, and the Canadian ambassador to the United States. Wilson served as chancellor of Trinity College from 2003 to 2006, having graduated from U of T in 1959. He is serving a three-year term, which began July 1, 2012.
David Naylor | President
The president is the university’s de facto CEO, ensuring that the university’s finances are in order, its rules and governing institutions are functioning smoothly, and the school has long-term strategic plans guiding its growth. Naylor must answer to the provincial and federal governments and to the Governing Council, a Senate-like ruling body of 50 community members, including students, staff, and faculty who must give final approval to all important university decisions. Naylor has served as president since 2005. He will step down on October 31, 2013.
Meric Gertler | President-designate
Prior to being selected as president, Gertler served as the dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science. As dean, Gertler was quite popular, although he oversaw the introduction of flat fees — a controversial system where full time students pay the same amount of tuition regardless of how many courses they are taking. A distinguished scholar, Gertler’s research has focused on geography and urban planning. Gertler will assume the presidency for a five-year term beginning November 1, 2013. He faces numerous challenges, including provincial belt-tightening, ongoing controversies in student politics, and major turnover within the senior administration.
Cheryl Regehr | Provost
The provost’s job is to oversee the budget and all academic matters. Regehr supervises principals and deans, working to determine the university’s academic priorities, teaching practices, and research agenda. Regehr assumes the post of provost on September 2, 2013, replacing Cheryl Misak. She previously served as vice-provost, academic programs, one of six vice-provosts who each oversee a distinct portfolio, from student life to academic operations, and who work directly under the provost. She has been appointed for an 18-month term, but will be permitted to seek reappointment in February 2015 if she so desires.
Jill Matus | Vice-Provost, Students
Jill Matus and her office are responsible for determining all policies and procedures related to students and student life, across all three campuses. The Office of Student Life coordinates club approval, rents office space at 21 Sussex, and provides training to student leaders. The office is also responsible for recruiting students, rewarding scholarships and distributing financial aid, as well as running the study abroad program. Matus is the only one of the three most prominent senior administrators who will not be new to her post this year.