President Chakma will not seek third term

On Thursday, Western President and Vice-Chancellor Amit Chakma announced he will not seek a third term when his current term ends June 30, 2019.

“I have long believed all great institutions benefit from periodic renewal and rejuvenation at the leadership level. It is a healthy and time-honoured practice. It has always been my intention to serve two terms as president,” Chakma said following the  Board of Governors meeting where he made his intentions known. 

For the remainder of his term, Chakma said he will be focused on fulling his priorities with the support of the campus community.

Board Chair Hanny Hassan released the following statement to the university community:

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President and Vice-Chancellor Amit Chakma confirmed for the Board of Governors today that he will not seek a third term as President upon completion of his second term on June 30, 2019.

Having served as President since 2009, Dr. Chakma believes that periodic leadership renewal is a healthy time-honoured practice of any great institution. His decision to let the Board know now ensures there is appropriate time to consult with the campus community and external stakeholders about the experience and qualities needed in Western’s next President.

Under Dr. Chakma’s leadership, Western has strengthened its academic reputation by attracting top students, scholars and researchers from across Canada and around the globe. The Board shares Dr. Chakma’s pride in the progress Western has made in becoming a more open, diverse and welcoming institution. Besides quadrupling first-year international enrollment since 2009, more women have been appointed to senior leadership roles, including three of the four Vice-Presidents. Western has also adopted its first Indigenous Strategic Plan.

Together with his senior leadership team, Dr. Chakma has worked to ensure Western is financially sound. Through strategic investments, Western has become globally competitive in key areas of research, while laying the foundation for future success. The Be Extraordinary campaign is close to achieving its $750-million goal, while our endowment stands at $678 million — more than double where it was in 2009. Western has seen 17 major capital projects, including 11 new buildings on main campus and the research park, which have enhanced teaching, research and the student experience.

The President has an ambitious set of strategic priorities that will be the focus of his attention between now and June 2019. The Board looks forward to supporting him and the campus community to achieve those goals.

The Board of Governors will be conducting an international search for Dr. Chakma’s successor, starting with the establishment of a search committee in January 2018. Information on Western’s process for recruiting a President is available on the University Secretariat’s website.