Woolf takes reins

Principal outlines strategic plan at installation

Daniel Woolf is installed as the University’s 20th principal in Grant Hall last night.
Daniel Woolf is installed as the University’s 20th principal in Grant Hall last night.

With the ceremony now behind him, Principal Daniel Woolf is ready to get down to business.

Although he started work on Sept. 1, Woolf was officially installed as Queen’s 20th principal at a ceremony last night in Grant Hall.

During his installation speech, Woolf outlined his priorities for the first year of his five-year term, saying he thinks the University must be ready to change dramatically.

“We need to have some discussion about … what must be preserved and strengthened, and what, however comfortable it may be, must be given up, or given lower priority,” he said. “These are never easy decisions. But for Queen’s to thrive, it must adapt.”

Woolf said he wants to launch a series of discussions and planning beginning in January to determine what changes need to be made.

“I have therefore proposed that we engage in a ground-level-up process of academic discussion and planning, and within a year, we create a concise and clear academic plan,” he said. “The plan will guide us in decisions about how to allocate our scarce resources and will help us make those inevitable tough choices.”

In his speech, Woolf talked about the financial difficulties universities face today and how imagination is needed to deal with them.

“We can no longer count on government funding or tuition to cover the full costs of what we do,” he said, adding that the University must turn to alumni donors and benefactors to maintain Queen’s reputation. “We must find ways to offer the Queen’s experience in a much more difficult financial environment.”

The lively installation included performances by Queen’s Symphony Orchestra, Queen’s University Choral Ensemble and Queen’s Bands. Queen’s mascot Boo Hoo the Bear also made an appearance.

University administration, a few faculty and students and Woolf’s friends and family were at the event.

AMS President Michael Ceci said he thought the ceremony was a success.

“I think the installation ceremony was really great,” he said. “You could see that it drew upon all facets of the University, from people from the arts and sciences, with the presentations and speeches and so I think that was really nice.” Ceci said he thinks Woolf has a strong support system to help him implement the necessary changes to the University.

“The principal made it pretty clear he’s acutely aware of the challenges that are facing Queen’s,” he said. “He’s got a really strong team to rely on. You know there’s going to be some changes ahead with regards to personnel but he’s very confident there’s a lot of great alumni and people that are going to support him in his goals.”

After his official installation, Woolf told the Journal he enjoyed the ceremony.

“The band was great, the orchestra was great, the chancellor was great, it was just wonderful to see so many of my … old friends from as far back as undergraduate days, some I haven’t seen for 20 or 30 years,” he said. “I’m just really, really looking forward to the coming years.”

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