Second term sought

Committee to consider Woolf’s reappointment

Principal Woolf said he's pleased with strides the University has made, such as in the areas of mental health and governance reform, since his term began in 2009.
Principal Woolf said he's pleased with strides the University has made, such as in the areas of mental health and governance reform, since his term began in 2009.
Credit: 
Supplied

Principal Daniel Woolf doesn’t want his time at Queen’s to come to an end.

With just over one year left in Woolf’s first five-year term as Principal and Vice-Chancellor, the members of a committee led by Chancellor David Dodge are soliciting feedback from the community as they consider his reappointment.

Woolf’s term ends in June 2014. Hewas first appointed in 2009 and took over the principalship in September of that year.

Since then, he has established eight key objectives with the Board of Trustees which the Joint Board/Senate Review Committee claim have “endured throughout the term to date and continue.” These objectives are outlined online for those who wish to submit their views.

Woolf said he’s pleased with many of the advances the University has made since his term as principal began.

“I would say I am very, very comfortable with our relationship with the City of Kingston now, including our ability to restore, with their blessing, Homecoming ,” he said.

“I am particularly pleased, though I must say it was not something that I had either planned on or anticipated when I arrived, in the enormous strides Queen’s has made in the area of campus mental health,” he added. “I’m very pleased that after a particularly tragic year in 2010/11, that we do seem to have not just put that behind us but we made some very, very positive strides and established Queen’s as a leader in this area.”

He said it’s not just the work of the Principal’s Commission on Mental Health — which released its final report in the fall – that he’s pleased with, but also the engagement with students that he’s seen in the issue of mental health.

“I can’t seem to open the Journal or look at Twitter or look at the website without seeing some activity every month that has to do with mental health.”

Woolf said he thinks Queen’s has generally received positive press as of late.

“[Queen’s Communications Specialist Kristyn Wallace] sends out a daily summary of Queen’s in the news and it always gladdens my heart in the morning when I see no [negative] Queen’s issues today,” he said.

Woolf said he’s also pleased with achievements that fall under what he called “nuts and bolts” internal issues, such as reforming for Queen’s governance bodies.

He said the reform of Senate is well underway and steps have been taken to shrink the Board of Trustees and reorganize its committees.

“University Council is virtually reinventing itself after many years of not being entirely sure what its role was,” Woolf said, adding that the Council appoints the Chancellor and now elects one quarter of the Board of Trustees.

Woolf counts the reorganization of senior administration—including the creation of a provost position—and working toward financial sustainability, as well as a move toward a “culture of planning,” as other accomplishments. This planning includes a Senate-approved academic plan, a Senate-approved research plan and an international strategy.

Woolf said he believes the University has made strides towards re-establishing its presence at Queen’s Park, but he didn’t spend as much time in Ottawa as he’d planned when he first began his term, which was a priority due to how much funding comes from the provincial government.

He noted that he thinks the tension between being available on-campus to students and off-campus to politicians and donors will continue to be a challenge.

If reappointed, Woolf hopes to continue working toward increasing Queen’s internationalization, a big goal of his. He hopes to stay on at Queen’s in the history department even after his role as principal ends.

The Joint Board/Senate Review Committee will solicit input until Feb. 15, and will present their decision to the Board of Trustees in May.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.