Toronto, Oct. 13, 2015 – Alastair Summerlee, president of the University of Guelph from 2003 to 2014, has been appointed chair of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) board of directors for a three-year term effective immediately. He succeeds interim board chair Cindy Hazell.
Summerlee joined the University of Guelph faculty in 1988 as a professor in biomedical sciences. He served as associate dean of the Ontario Veterinary College in 1992, dean of graduate studies in 1995, associate vice-president academic in 1999 and provost and vice-president academic in 2000. As the University of Guelph's seventh president, he emphasized civic engagement and voluntarism, passions that are reflected in his current work as executive director of Fund the Food, an initiative to address hunger and poverty at home and abroad, and work in the refugee camps. He also chairs the advisory board of Auburn University's Hunger Solutions Institute.
In honour of Summerlee's two-term presidency at the University of Guelph, the university established the Alastair Summerlee Scholarship in Civil Society, awarded to a graduate student conducting international developmental field work. He continues to teach undergraduate students and supervise graduate students in the Ontario Veterinary College and was named a 3M teaching fellow. His volunteer work for humanitarian causes was recognized by Soka University in Japan; the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee; Quality of Life Laureate and the European Business Association.
Summerlee received his BSC (hons) in anatomy, neurobiology and neurosciences, and his PhD in medical clinical sciences from the University of Bristol.
"Alastair Summerlee has long been a tireless advocate for the student experience in postsecondary education," says HEQCO president and CEO Harvey Weingarten. "Under his leadership, the University of Guelph has also been extremely active in developing and assessing learning outcomes – a key research priority for HEQCO. We look forward to benefiting from his experience and passion for higher education."
HEQCO is an agency of the Government of Ontario, established in 2005 to conduct research, evaluate the postsecondary education system and provide policy recommendations to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities to enhance the quality, access and accountability of Ontario's higher education system.
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