Senate bids farewell to senior leaders

University Senators said their farewells to President Amit Chakma and other departing senior leaders Friday during the governing body’s final meeting until fall.

Senate Vice-Chair Michael Milde commended Chakma’s commitment to internationalization and the Be Extraordinary campaign, among other achievements. In a body as “spirited and always fully engaged” as Senate is, Chakma has served as chair for almost 100 sessions during his 10 years.

“In his capacity as chair of Senate, Amit has carried out his duties with what I would call respectful equanimity and collegiality,” Milde said.

Senate also offered farewells to Julie McMullin who leaves her post as Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President (International) to become Vice-President Academic and Provost at Mount Saint Vincent University. It was also the final Senate meeting for John Capone, Western’s Vice-President (Research), who has served in that role since 2012.

McGill University academic-clinician Sarah Prichard has been named Acting Vice-President (Research) at Western for a one-year term. A search for a permanent research leader will take place soon after Western President-elect Alan Shephard begins his term in July, Chakma said during his report to Senate.

An Acting VP Research needed to be named before a formal search for a replacement begins as several files need ongoing attention without a gap in coverage, Chakma continued. “I can assure you that is a standard practice. You cannot run a place if you have to take each appointment, each acting title, through rigorous approval process. We actually followed the process exactly as has been the case (in the past).”

Senate also took the opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of professors Mark Daley and Juan Luis Suarez, who are stepping down from their administrative roles as Associate Vice-Presidents (Research) as of July 1. They will continue their research work in their faculties.