COU Welcomes Dr. Rhonda Lenton as New Council Chair

Home News COU Welcomes Dr. Rhonda Lenton as New Council Chair


COU Welcomes Dr. Rhonda Lenton as New Council Chair

The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) welcomes Dr. Rhonda L. Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor of York University, as the next Chair of COU, effective July 1, 2024, for a two-year term.

President Lenton joined York University in 2002 as Dean of the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. She then served as York’s inaugural Vice-Provost Academic from 2009 to 2012, and then as the University’s Vice-President Academic and Provost from 2012 until April 2017. A dedicated proponent of community engagement and innovative partnerships, President Lenton played an instrumental role in the creation of the York University-TD Community Engagement Centre and in expanding York’s institutional collaborations with other postsecondary education partners.

Before joining York, President Lenton was an Associate Dean and Professor at McMaster University. A sociologist by training, she earned her PhD from the University of Toronto in 1989.

Beyond her role at York, President Lenton serves on Universities Canada’s Internationalization Committee, the Association of Commonwealth Universities’ Executive, the Canada India Business Council Advisory Board, Loran Scholars and the Conference Board of Canada. In recognition of her leadership and service as a senior executive in higher education, President Lenton was named one of the top 100 most powerful women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) in 2015, and in 2016 received the Angela Hildyard Recognition Award for the continual demonstration of innovative leadership in advancing the mission of, and achieving outstanding contributions to, her institution and to higher education.

In her role as Chair of COU, President Lenton will work closely with COU, executive leaders across Ontario’s universities, government, and sector partners to work towards our shared goal of creating a brighter future for our students, communities and the province.

As we welcome President Lenton into her new role, COU would like to extend special recognition and thanks to Alan Shepard, President and Vice-Chancellor of Western University, for his steadfast leadership and contributions as Chair of COU over the last two years.

During his term as COU Chair, President Shepard played a leadership role in providing unwavering support in advancing student success, promoting research and innovation and driving community economic development. COU looks forward to continuing to work with President Shepard as he assumes the role of Past-Chair of COU, effective July 1, 2024, until June 30, 2025.

Tags: ontario's universities