Concordia University is pleased to announce that its Board of Governors has approved the appointment of Alan Shepard as president and vice-chancellor. He will begin a five-year term on August 1, 2012.
Shepard will come to Concordia from Ryerson University, where he has served as provost and vice-president academic, and chief operating officer since 2007. During his tenure there, Ryerson has built new strengths in experiential learning and innovation, and has undertaken a host of reforms, including changes to its academic structure, undergraduate curriculum and research environment.
“Alan Shepard has left his mark on the academic and administrative leadership at Ryerson, where I know he will be missed,” says Peter Kruyt, chair of Concordia’s Board of Governors. “We were impressed by his strong commitment to building and sustaining academic excellence, and leading initiatives to improve student services, support research and forge partnerships with other institutions.”
Shepard says he is looking forward to connecting with the Concordia community and immersing himself and his family in Quebec’s thriving culture.
“Concordia is a strong institution now, and it has extraordinary opportunities to become a national and international leader in higher education, to refashion the intellectual and physical geography of learning. Truly, I want us to make our own path, to work together to create the best experience we can for students and researchers, to build a great university for learning, teaching, research and creative activity while connecting with the larger community that supports us,” says Shepard.
“Concordia has many opportunities to lead — in urban renewal, in research innovation, in diversity and accessibility, in student engagement with society, and in providing opportunities for entrepreneurial graduates who may want to join the economy on their own terms. Students are central to all our initiatives.”
Shepard will succeed Frederick Lowy, president from 1995 to 2005, who returned in that role in February 2011 at the university’s request.
“We are grateful to Dr. Lowy, who has guided our university so effectively through this transition to Alan Shepard,” says Kruyt. “Dr. Lowy has been a unifying force at Concordia and has always had the best interests of our students, faculty, staff and alumni at heart and Concordia is in great shape as a result.
“I also thank the members of our advisory search committee, which was chaired by Chancellor L. Jacques Ménard and had representation from across our university community, for their diligence throughout the process that led to the selection of our new president.”
Shepard has earned an undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He was also a visiting undergraduate at Cambridge University. In 1990, he received a PhD in English from the University of Virginia. He has held fellowships at the Folger Library in Washington, D.C. and the University of Toronto.
Shepard has published a number of books, essays and technical reports, won awards for teaching, and received grants to support his research, publications and professional practice. He was editor-in-chief for five years of the bilingual, multidisciplinary journal Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme. He speaks regularly on contemporary issues facing universities.
His other administrative experience includes terms as a department chair and school director in the United States and Canada, and as associate vice-president, academic, of the University of Guelph. He is currently chair of the Ontario Council of Academic Vice Presidents and a public member of the strategic planning group of Public Health Ontario.
• Alan Shepard's biography