The University of Sudbury has announced the appointment of Fr. John Meehan as president and vice-chancellor of the university for a two-year term.
He replaces Sophie Bouffard, who stepped down as the federated university's president July 31 for a new job as the president of Université de Saint-Boniface in Manitoba.
Originally from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Meehan was most recently rector of L’Église de Gesù and interim director of the Newman Center at McGill University.
Prior to this, he was president of Campion College, the Jesuit university college federated with the University of Regina, where he helped work toward reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples and other groups locally, and where he also taught a number of courses.
He is an intellectual, a widely published author and historian by training, said a press release.
Meehan has taught a variety of subjects in History, International Studies and Catholic Studies, and his wide research interests include the history of Canadian foreign relations, Jesuit history and the history of Christianity in Asia.
He is multilingual and speaks English, French, Russian, Japanese, and some Spanish, Italian, Latin. He is also learning Cree.
Meehan holds a B.A. Hons. (McGill), Dip.Theol. (Oxford), M.A. in International Relations (Johns Hopkins-SAIS), M.Div./S.T.B. (Regis), Th.M./S.T.L. (Regis), and a Ph.D. in History (Toronto).
He has written several books, articles and other publications, and has been a sought-after guest lecturer.
Meehan has been assistant editor of the three-volume Jesuit History Series, and a commentator in media such as Toronto Globe and Mail, America Magazine, Prairie Messenger, Catholic Register, Salt & Light Television, CBC / Radio-Canada, TVO and BBC.
In 2010, he was a historical expert on the CBC Series “Love, War and Propaganda” (on Radio Canada, “Amour, Haine et Propagande”).
In 1989, while working with physically and mentally disabled people at l'Arche with Jean Vanier in France, he truly found his Jesuit vocation. Since entering the Society of Jesus in 2000, he has also worked with Indigenous people in Saskatchewan, and gang kids and immigrants in the United States.
Amongst numerous other involvements, he has been the Assistant for Higher Education, Jesuits in English Canada since 2015. In fall 2009, he was Borsista [Research fellow] at the Jesuit Historical Institute in Rome.
Meehan has also been a member of the Alpha Sigma Nu Honours Society and of the Senior Common Room, Trinity College, University of Toronto. From 1997-2000, he was Academic Don (History/International Relations) at Trinity College, University of Toronto.
“The university proudly welcomes Fr. Meehan,” said the press release. His breadth of experience paired with his strong skillset will no doubt ensure a strong leadership of our bilingual, tri-cultural, humanities-based institution rooted in Jesuit tradition.
Meehan will assume his new role beginning Sept. 12, allowing Sylvie Renault, who is currently interim president, to resume her role of vice-president, programming and communications.