STEVEN LEE/THE VARSITY

Following a months-long search to replace Woodsworth College Principal Joseph Desloges, longtime history professor and administrative official Carol Chin has been appointed as the head of the University of Toronto’s largest college.

Desloges is scheduled to complete his second term at the end of this academic year. Because of term limits, he is ineligible for re-appointment under the Policy on Appointment of Academic Administrators. He has headed the college since 2008 and also teaches in the geography and earth sciences departments.

In a statement released December 20, U of T said that Chin would serve as principal from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2024.

“Professor Chin is an accomplished researcher and teacher, and brings exceptional experience in academic leadership and governance,” the statement read, citing Chin’s previous service in a variety of roles since joining U of T in 2008, including working as Acting Principal of Woodsworth from 2015–2016.

Chin had also worked as the interim head of the history department and served on the Academic Board of Governing Council and the Provostial Advisory Committee on the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Violence.

Chin completed her undergraduate studies in Chinese literature at Harvard University in 1977, and obtained an MA and a PhD in history from Ohio State University in 1996 and 2001, respectively.

In an interview with The Varsity, Chin said that she was “delighted” to head back to the college she previously led in an interim position. She also said that she would work toward overcoming certain challenges and cooperate with students, staff, and faculty.

“I think one of the biggest challenges for Woodsworth is numbers,” she said. “It’s the biggest college; it’s got a very small number of residence spaces — that’s not something that we can solve easily.”

Chin added that “one of the things that makes Woodsworth such a special place is its legacy,” citing what she sees as its history of accessibility and equity.

The process for searching for a new principal began in May. In a September interview, U of T Vice-President and Provost Cheryl Regehr said that after the initial announcement, an advisory committee was created. Following nominations, applicants underwent an interview process. No names were released to the public.

U of T has not yet announced a new Principal of University College. Donald Ainslie, the current principal and a leading member of the Landmark Project, is set to leave his position in June.

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