Deane claims Mac post

Vice-Principal (Academic) term ends after 2009-10

Vice-Principal (Academic) Patrick Deane will become McMaster University’s new president on July 1, 2010.
Vice-Principal (Academic) Patrick Deane will become McMaster University’s new president on July 1, 2010.
Journal File Photo

Vice-Principal (Academic) Patrick Deane was named McMaster University’s next president yesterday morning.

McMaster’s Board of Directors voted on Deane’s appointment in a closed session.

He will succeed Peter George, who’s held the position for 15 years, on July 1, 2010, after his five-year term at Queen’s ends.

Principal Daniel Woolf said he found out Deane might be leaving two weeks ago.

“Extremely capable vice-principals are always very high on the radar for other universities looking for presidents and so it didn’t surprise me that Patrick was picked,” he said.

Deane’s departure will mean that four of the five vice-principal positions have been vacated in the past year.

The University is searching for new vice-principals for research, operations and finances and advancement.

“I’ll be appointing an interim vice-principal and we’ll start the search during the summer for a new vice-principal (academic),” said Woolf, adding that he chose this course of action because it’s already late in the academic year.

The appointment of the interim vice-principal will be announced in two to three weeks, Woolf said.

“It’s a big loss for Queen’s,” he said. “He’s done an incredible job over the five years he’s been at Queen’s.”

Deane said the new position has a different set of responsibilities from his position at Queen’s.

“It’s both inward and outward looking, where my job at Queen’s is very internal in focus,” he said.

Deane said he’ll be focusing on McMaster University’s relationship with the government, potential donors and community relations.

He came under consideration for the position during the summer, he said.

“I’m very excited to be coming to Mac but very sad to be leaving Queen’s,” he said. “It resembles Queen’s in many ways but it’s also a university that’s situated in a very big urban community with a very big population.”

Of all his experiences at Queen’s, Deane said he enjoyed his interactions with the students most.

“I found working with the students at Queen’s hugely rewarding and very fulfilling,” he said. “I would say it has always felt to me a huge privilege to be working at Queen’s.”

Deane has a farm half an hour away from campus where he keeps sheep and horses.

“It’s sort of a hobby farm thing for us, it sustains us, so we’ll try to find something similar in the area,” he said. “We’re not abandoning the sheep.”

—With files from Holly Tousignant

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