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Comments about Andrew Petter

January 28, 2010

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Martha PiperMartha Piper, former president of the University of British Columbia:

“Andrew Petter is an inspired choice for the presidency of SFU. He brings to the position an exemplary academic record and years of government experience—both of which will serve him extremely well as he leads this outstanding university.

“Andrew is extremely bright and is extraordinarily capable of leading SFU at this time in its development. He will be a wonderful advocate for not only SFU but also all universities within the province, here at home and nationally and internationally.
“In dealing with Andrew when he was minister, I found him to always advocate for post-secondary education. He understood the issues and worked with us to advance universities in British Columbia. I am extraordinarily pleased that he has agreed to assume this position and know that SFU is fortunate to have him at this important time for post-secondary education in this province.”

Geoff PlantGeoff Plant, former B.C. attorney-general and author of the Campus 2020 plan for B.C.’s post-secondary education system:

“Spending time with Andrew is a chance to discover that a critical reason for his public success is his genuine interest in people, one-on-one, one at a time. You never get anywhere in a conversation with Andrew before he's found out how you are and what's happening in your life. It's a very special quality."

David TurpinDavid Turpin, president, University of Victoria:

“He’s thoughtful, he’s intelligent, he listens, he’s a team player, he builds the team, and he’s strategic. He sees the role of the university not just in education and research, but also in connecting with society and serving it in many ways."

Hart ShouldiceHart Shouldice, former president of the UVic Law Students Society (in 2007, during Petter’s last year as dean):

“Andrew's continual willingness to listen directly to student concerns speaks to his diplomatic nature as an administrator, and his actions time and again reflected a students-first attitude and an understanding that an institution is nothing if not for them. I think it is safe to say he may be the only law school dean in Canadian history to engage in a lunchtime arm-wrestling match with a student!”

Mike HarcourtMike Harcourt, former premier of B.C.:

“As a person he's intellectually very sharp, curious and quick. But watch out for his wicked sense of humour! Plus he has deeply held values on environmental and social justice issues, particularly around aboriginal rights, economic development and self- government.

“He became minister for aboriginal affairs in November 1991. Within a month he had signed B.C. onto a federal government-B.C. First Nations Summit Treaty Process agreement. B.C. for the first time in 130 years recognized aboriginal rights and title. By September 1992, a B.C. Treaty Process and Commission had been established. Andrew's skills and commitment were important reasons why these historic changes took place so quickly and well.”

Grand chief Ed John, a leader of the B.C. First Nations Summit Task Group and a hereditary chief of the Tl'azt'en Nation in northern B.C.:

“In his former role as a minister, to establish the process to negotiate treaties in B.C., that was a big undertaking. We never completely agreed on everything—it’s not the nature of the business—but he worked with us to move the province’s agenda forward. He understood the history and the dynamics.
“And I found he doesn’t jump to conclusions; he is pretty meticulous about gathering information and sifting through it before he makes a decision. He should be a judge, not a president. I’m kidding! I think he’ll do an excellent job at SFU, judging by his term as dean at UVic, and his relationship with students. Students are his focus.”

Yvonne LawsonYvonne Lawson, administrative officer, UVic faculty of law:

“You guys are so lucky. He’s wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. He trusts people, he’s a solid delegator; he has confidence in his people. It’s exciting to work for someone like that. He thinks things out, and you understand where his decisions are coming from. Even when people don’t agree with the decision, they understand and appreciate where it came from.”

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