Meric Gertler, the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science at U of T, has been named the successor of David Naylor as the university’s next president.
Gertler, who was appointed by U of T’s Governing Council on Monday as the 16th president in the school’s history, has said he is committed to building on the work of the current president, David Naylor, and updating the school’s facilities to bring them into the digital age.
Gertler’s mix of educational administration and academic experience may have contributed to his selection. Having studied at UC Berkeley, Harvard, and McMaster, Gertler has deep roots in education and research; traditionally, these qualifies are not unfamiliar for candidates to the presidency.
U of T also has a history of selecting in-house academic professors for the position. Gertler is no exception, having been the dean of the largest faculty.
“Professor Meric Gertler is an outstanding choice for the next president of our university,” commented Professor Amy Mullin, UTM’s dean and vice-principal academic.
Gertler’s academic background is in urban issues and geography, specializing in the economies of cities. His interest in urban studies and their relationship to community revitalization will have a direct impact on his new position, according to Mullin. An emphasis on city-building and creativity undoubtedly stood out in the inspection of his portfolio.
UTSU has expressed concerns about the appointment, but the student union says it is pleased with the choice and remains open-minded.
“He is deeply committed to the flourishing of all of our campuses, something made clear in his regular meetings with the deans of UTSC and UTM in a committee of tri-campus deans,” said Mullin.
Gertler will succeed Naylor this December for a five-year term.