Western University, Department of Communication & Public Affairs
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Rotman named new chancellor
Canadian businessman and philanthropist Joseph L. Rotman, BA’57, LLD’09 has been named Western’s 21st chancellor.
Rotman, whose term begins July 1, 2012, will be officially installed at Autumn Convocation on Oct. 25, 2012 and serve a four-year term through 2016. He succeeds John Thompson, BESc'66, LLD'94, who has served the university since 2008.
“It’s a great honour,” Rotman says. “Most importantly for me, it is an opportunity to work with the senior leadership on implementing a vision of excellence in several areas they have highlighted that, I believe, are very important for Western to do to establish itself in an international sense.”
Western President Amit Chakma echoed those sentiments.
“Joe stands among a small group of great Canadians who have contributed in many extraordinary ways to the betterment of our country,” Chakma says. “He is one of those rare leaders who dedicates much of his time, business acumen and personal wealth toward a wide range of philanthropic endeavours that have had transformative effects on the arts, health care and higher education in Canada.”
Born Jan. 6, 1935 in Toronto, Rotman earned a BA from Western in 1957 and an MComm from the University of Toronto in 1960. During 1960-61, he studied at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in the Ph.D. program. He was awarded an honorary LLD from Western in 2009.
Chairman of Roy-L Capital Corporation, a private family investment company, Rotman launched his business career in 1962 and has been involved in establishing a number of private and public companies active in oil trading, petroleum distribution, oil and gas exploration, merchant banking, real estate and venture capital.
He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1995 and inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2008, he was appointed to a five-year term as Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts. He previously served as Chair of the Board of the Art Gallery of Ontario (1993-96) and a board member (1991-2000), as well as a board member of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards (1996-98).
“My goal as chancellor is to try and help the university achieve excellence – the very basis of what makes any university great – the ability of its students and scholars to think creatively, independently and usefully,” says Rotman, who donated $4 million to create Western’s Rotman Institute of Philosophy in 2008.
“Western has been one of Canada’s great academic powerhouses for many years. I see all kinds of potential to expand its strengths and reputation across the country and well beyond.”
Chancellor - Roles & Responsibilities
The chancellor is the honorary and symbolic head of the university. The position reflects the leadership and global aspirations of Western and, in addition to official convocation and degree-granting functions, serves as a principal ambassador of the university, playing a significant role in supporting and promoting Western’s distinctive global role as a leader in education and research.
The official duties include presiding at convocation ceremonies during two weeks in mid-June and two days in mid-October each year to admit candidates to degrees, diplomas and certificates. The chancellor is an ex officio, voting, member of the Board of Governors and the university Senate, and of certain committees of both bodies.
A chancellor nominee must be a Canadian citizen, but may not be a member of the governing body, faculty, staff or student body of any degree-granting institution.
The term of office is four years (non-renewable).
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