COU Welcomes New Council Chair

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COU Welcomes New Council Chair

Alan Sheppard

The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) welcomes Alan Shepard, President and Vice-Chancellor of Western University, as the next Chair of COU, effective July 1, 2022, for a two-year term.

President Shepard joined Western University as President and Vice-Chancellor in July 2019, after serving in senior leadership roles at several Ontario and Canadian universities, including President and Vice-Chancellor at Concordia University in Montreal, and Provost and Vice-President, Academic at Toronto Metropolitan University. Since joining Western, he has enhanced on-campus sustainability, driven research and innovation across key sectors and advanced the university’s regional impact through community partnerships.

Beyond his role at Western, President Shepard is also actively involved in the community. He has served as a volunteer for organizations including Universities Canada and the Montreal Chamber of Commerce. Currently, he serves as a Vice-Chair on the Executive Committee of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities and also as a board member for the London Economic Development Corporation, Business + Higher Education Roundtable and the Stratford Festival of Canada. He has also been an active member at COU, serving as the Council’s Vice-Chair since July 2021.

In his role as Chair of COU, President Shepard 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 Shepard into his new role, COU would like to extend special recognition and thanks to Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice-Chancellor of Toronto Metropolitan University, for his exemplary leadership and contributions as Chair of COU over the last two years.

During his term as Chair, President Lachemi 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 Lachemi as he assumes the role of Past-Chair of COU, effective July 1, 2022, until July 2023.

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