Statement from the U of S Board of Governors: Changes to university leadership

Today the University of Saskatchewan Board of Governors announced the termination, without cause, of the appointment of Dr. Ilene Busch-Vishniac as President and Vice-Chancellor, effective immediately. She is eligible to take up her faculty post in the university’s College of Engineering.

By University Communications

In the wake of an ongoing reputational crisis related to recent leadership decisions, the Board met on May 19, 2014, and determined that further due diligence was required. The board has since gathered more information and has deliberated again. The board feels strongly that the university's ongoing operations and its reputational rebuilding efforts will be more effective with new leadership.

It was a painful week for the University of Saskatchewan. Many students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the U of S, and the people of the province generally, were dismayed by news emerging from the campus over the last seven days. The board was deeply troubled by this situation and committed itself to repairing the university's reputation.

The board has named Dr. Gordon Barnhart as the Acting President of the University of Saskatchewan. The board has every confidence that Dr. Barnhart will provide strong leadership at this critical time in the university's history. He comes to the post with five decades of history with the university. The board is very pleased that Dr. Barnhart has accepted this acting role. He will begin in the acting role on May 22, 2014.

The board would also like to state in the strongest possible terms, that the University of Saskatchewan is committed to the principles of academic freedom and freedom of expression. It would also like to stress that it believes that tenure is a sacrosanct principle within this university.

Finally, the Board of Governors at the University of Saskatchewan continues to be strongly committed to the goal of financial sustainability and renewal.

Details regarding searches for both president and provost will be announced at a later date.

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Biography of Gordon Barnhart
As a well-known historian, Barnhart completed his BA ('66) in history at the U of S, and, after completing a masters degree at the University of Regina, returned to the U of S to complete his PhD in history ('98). From 2000 to 2005, he served as the University Secretary, and later taught political studies and history classes in the College of Arts and Science. Since 2012, Dr. Barnhart has been an adjunct professor in the College of Arts and Science, Department of History. Gordon Barnhart was the twentieth Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, a post to which he was appointed in August 2006. Prior to this, Barnhart served in a range of provincial and federal government positions, including Clerk of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly and Clerk of the Senate.