Longtime professor named president of Ontario’s proposed French-language university

Photo of Andre Roy. Credit: Concordia University

The dean of Concordia University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences has been appointed president of Ontario’s proposed French-language university.

The school’s board of directors says Andre Roy will take on his new role on Aug. 1.

Roy previously worked as a professor at the University of Montreal, a position he held for nearly three decades, and as vice-dean of research for the school’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences for two years.

He then served as dean of the Faculty of the Environment at the University of Waterloo in southwestern Ontario, before accepting his current position at Concordia.

In a statement released today, Roy says his new job offers a “golden opportunity to showcase Francophonie.”

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The board says the announcement comes weeks after the signing of a bi-level funding agreement for the institution serving the province’s Francophones, as well as the unveiling of its campus location.

It says the university is working on obtaining certification for its transdisciplinary programs, which will be reviewed by the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board in the coming months.

The university project was initially scrapped by the Ontario government as part of Premier Doug Ford’s efforts to balance the books, but the decision sparked outrage and protests among Franco-Ontarians.

Click to play video: 'Minister says Ontario must ‘prioritize’ Francophone university'
Minister says Ontario must ‘prioritize’ Francophone university

The cancellation also prompted then-Tory legislator Amanda Simard to leave the party caucus and sit as an independent.

Last fall, the Ford government announced it had secured half the funding for the estimated $126-million project, and asked Ottawa to commit to paying the other half.

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The provincial and federal governments said shortly afterwards they had reached an agreement on jointly funding the project.

The province has said it will take eight years for the school to be completed.

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