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Sudbury francophone university hires new president

Formerly federated with Laurentian University, University of Sudbury to open as a standalone institution this fall
Serge Miville (Supplied)
In what the University of Sudbury is billing a “decisive move to herald its presence as a leading francophone university in the province of Ontario,” the formerly federated university operating on Laurentian’s campus has hired a new president.

That president is Serge Milville, who said he hopes to open the doors to the University of Sudbury’s new francophone university in September.

“After a careful review of candidates from across Canada, the university decided that Dr. Miville, an accomplished historian, was the ideal candidate to lead the university through this next decisive step to continue its evolution in support of leading-edge higher education by, for and with the North’s resilient francophone community,” said a press release from the University of Sudbury.

This spring, in the wake of Laurentian University’s insolvency proceedings, the University of Sudbury announced its intention to become a francophone university. 

Not long afterward, Laurentian announced it was terminating the agreement with the federated universities operating on campus –the University of Sudbury along with Huntington University and Thorneloe University.

Laurentian said it needed the money it was transferring to the federated universities in exchange for offering classes toward LU degrees.

The current president of the University of Sudbury is Father John Meehan, S.J., Ph.D. The University of Sudbury’s board of regents thanked him for his contributions since he joined the school in September 2019.

He has a new role as the director of the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History at Trinity College, at the University of Toronto.

Miville, who hails from Smooth Rock Falls in Northern Ontario, holds a bachelor degree and a master's of arts (Ottawa), as well as a Ph.D. (York).

In 2020, he was welcomed in the Société Charlevoix des études franco-ontariennes. Miville was until recently research chair in Franco-Ontarian History at Laurentian University. 

Miville served as the director of the Institut franco-ontarien (IFO), which recently moved its offices to the University of Sudbury. 

In addition to his academic roles, Miville has been instrumental in administrative and governance roles through various academic committees and boards. 

His writings on francophone Canada have been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Société Radio-Canada, Le Droit, and Le Devoir, amongst others.

“Dr. Miville is an excellent successor for the realization of our mandate. His drive, his positive leadership, his aptitudes and his vision align perfectly with the ambitions of our university,” states the chair of the board of regents, Pierre Riopel.

The University of Sudbury said Mivelle’s appointment represents a generational change in leadership that reflects the university’s new direction and plans to offer a new and unique experience to its students. 

Miville is committed to establishing an inclusive post-secondary education vision that maximizes opportunities found within the broader network of French-language post-secondary institutions to offer the best possible choice and diversity of educational opportunities in person and through hybrid options.

He is also deeply committed to ensuring the continuation of the university’s dialogue with Indigenous communities.

“It is an immense honour to take on such a significant responsibility,” said Miville. “My commitment to students is clear: the entire team at the University of Sudbury will leverage our resources to ensure that you have the option to study in the North, in French, and that your academic credentials will be recognized and transferable. 

“I am profoundly optimistic about the future of our university, about the future of francophone higher-level education, and remain hopeful our partners in the provincial and federal governments will be of assistance as we serve the francophone community, but most of all, as we attempt to open our doors to students in September 2021.”