David Mulroney, President of the University of St. Michael’s College (USMC), announced his plans to retire and the search for his successor in an announcement on May 17.
Mulroney, a St. Michael’s College alumnus, began his three-year term as President on July 1, 2015 after a long career in the Canadian Foreign Service, including a stint as the ambassador to China from 2009 to 2012. His term will end in June 2018.
Mulroney said to The Varsity that he had two goals for his presidency: to ensure that the university carried out its mission as a Catholic university, and that it was able to do so sustainably and in “a financially sound manner.”
In the two years of his presidency, Mulroney has hired a new Principal, Registrar, Bursar and Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Advancement Officer, and has created the position of Director of Communications, Events, and Outreach. “I think I’ve had the chance to participate in the hiring of people that will run this institution for a long time to come,” Mulroney told The Varsity.
Mulroney’s retirement announcement comes after a tumultuous year involving the St. Michael’s College Student Union (SMCSU). Earlier this year, SMCSU was the subject of a financial investigation that revealed improper management of funds within the union. Following a scandal in December 2016, the union witnessed the resignation of both its President and Vice-President, and is now facing a potential restructuring by USMC.
According to Mulroney, these issues did not affect his plans for retirement next year. “I did not anticipate that there would be that set of problems, which we encountered when I came on board… it hasn’t affected my plans in any way…I’m just glad that we think we’ve come to the end of that, and we’re moving into a more promising era in terms of student government at St. Mike’s.”
Before Mulroney concludes his term as President of USMC, he has more plans that he wants to see through. He hopes to see successful elections for the SMCSU in September, and he would like to see a new code of conduct emerge for student government. The college also has plans for implementing a new 100-level course, expanding the Faculty of Theology to include the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, and undertaking a major renewal of the John M. Kelly Library.
“I will hand over an institution which is financially sound, that is raising increasing amounts of money, and an institution that is really focused on investing that money in our academic life and our student life,” said Mulroney.
A search committee consisting of staff, students, and alumni, has begun its search for USMC’s eighth President, who is expected to serve a full five-year term.