Patrick Deane named next principal

Deane will leave McMaster to join Queen’s in 2019

Patrick Deane speaks in Stauffer Library Monday morning.

After a nine-month search, the University announced its appointment of McMaster President, Patrick Deane, as Queen’s next principal and vice-chancellor on Monday morning.

Deane, who’s served as McMaster president since 2010, will assume his role at Queen’s on July 1, 2019.

“When I think about Queen’s, my mind always goes to its standing as a national institution,” Deane told a crowded room in Stauffer Library. “Queen’s is an important part of the fabric of our country.”

Several University and AMS representatives were present at Monday’s announcement, along with Mayor Bryan Paterson and Kingston & the Islands MP, Mark Gerrettsen.

Rector Alex da Silva and Board of Trustees Chair, Donald Raymond—both members of the search committee—took the stage to welcome Deane as the principal-designate.

“As a student myself, I spoke about my thoughts on the many things that make Queen’s University so special. From our hard-to-beat student learning experience to our incredible ground-breaking research,” da Silva said.

“I think it’s safe to say we were looking for someone who understood everything that contributes to that special Queen’s magic.”

As Queen’s vice-principal (academics) from 2005-2010, Deane is a familiar face at Queen’s.

“Students who leave the space are bound to it, it seems forever, through some kind of force that is very unusual in our country,” Deane said. “I look forward to building on that.”

Deane said he plans to increase Queen’s research capacity and broaden the student experience by connecting it to the community. He similarly hopes to improve diversity within the University.

“We must be at the cutting edge in terms of the promotion of respect for differences and diversity in our country,” he said.

When Deane took questions from the press, he told The Journal about his priorities going into the role.

“I have a sense that we’re going to need to continue to build the quality of the student experience here, drive up research productivity, and strengthen the University’s position as a research institution,” he said. “Especially, there is the ongoing question of ensuring this is a diverse community and building on the work that’s been done already in that direction.”

“I think the last of those things is a priority, regardless of how you situate the others, but it will take a little while at the start.”

Speaking from his work experience at universities across Canada, including Western University and the University of Toronto, Deane told The Journal he’s particularly interested in preparing students for the labour market.

“Universities need to be thoughtful about how they equip students to be successful,” he said. “There are traditional ways of thinking about degree programs, and then I think there are new ways in which we should be thinking about them.”

“You want to make sure [students] are really, really well equipped to deal with all the changes in the workforce.”

When Queen’s began the process of hiring a new principal, the University issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) before contracting a headhunting firm.

According to the Proposal, the University was looking for a firm that helped other schools hire “qualified women, visible minorities, persons with disability and persons of indigenous [sic] descent for senior roles.” 

The University hired Perrett Laver last February, which spent $93,000 on international advertising, research, and travel costs for interviews.

Principal Daniel Woolf said he was pleased with Deane’s appointment.  The two became friends in 2003, when they were both studying senior university administration in Winnipeg. They later became colleagues in the Council of Ontario Universities.

“I will be leaving Queen’s in June in exceptionally good hands,” Woolf said.

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