> Andrew Petter named president of Simon Fraser University

Andrew Petter named president of Simon Fraser University

Andrew Petter, 1.250.721.8183, apetter@uvic.ca
Don MacLachlan, PAMR, 604.763.3929, donmac@sfu.ca

January 20, 2010

Simon Fraser University has named Andrew Petter, past dean of the University of Victoria faculty of law and former British Columbia attorney general, as its ninth president and vice-chancellor.

Petter, 56, who was appointed after an international search, will take the reins of Canada’s top comprehensive university on Sept. 1, when current president Michael Stevenson concludes his second five-year term.

Michael Francis, chair of the SFU board of governors, says that Petter brings to the presidency a life-long commitment to education as university teacher, constitutional scholar and academic administrator, most recently as the University of Victoria’s longest serving dean of law.

"We are extremely pleased with the appointment of Andrew Petter as SFU’s new president,” says Francis. “Professor Petter’s extensive academic and administrative experience combined with his deep roots in B.C. and his passion for post-secondary education make him superbly qualified to lead SFU into the future.”

Petter says that he feels truly privileged to have been chosen as SFU’s next president.

“With three distinct campuses, SFU is a cutting-edge university with the capacity to provide its faculty, staff and students the best of all educational worlds. As president my primary goal is to build on SFU’s incredible diversity and combination of strengths as one of Canada’s leading universities.”

Petter says that SFU’s commitments to teaching and research excellence, and its strong community links, give the university a unique capacity to be a leader in meeting today’s social, economic and environmental challenges.

“I have always passionately believed in the crucial role post-secondary education plays in the life of our province,” says Petter.  “And I look forward to bringing that passion to a great institution like SFU with its proud history of connecting education with the community.”

SFU president Michael Stevenson says: “I am delighted to know that Andrew Petter will succeed me as president of SFU. He has had an exemplary academic career, culminating in his highly successful tenure as dean of one of Canada’s finest law schools. He also has a distinguished record of public service, holding major cabinet portfolios during his 10 years as an MLA in British Columbia.

“He is admirably suited to lead a university that has a proud history of academic excellence and service to the community.  I know that he will be invigorated by the unique spirit of SFU and that the university will prosper under his leadership.”

As UVic law dean from 2002 to 2008, Petter oversaw the establishment of an innovative new graduate law program, undertook significant Aboriginal initiatives such as creation of a National Aboriginal Economic Development Chair and development of the Akitsiraq Law School in Nunavut, and brought about major facility upgrades.

In addition to his educational pursuits, Petter is an avid jogger, cyclist and arts buff with a strong commitment to fostering sustainable communities.  In 2002, he was named an Honorary Citizen of the City of Victoria for his work in restoring St. Ann’s Academy, expanding parks, and developing the Galloping Goose and Lochside trail systems, a popular walking, running and cycling network stretching over 100km from Sooke to Victoria to Sidney.


Photos online at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sfupamr
Video clips online at: http://www.youtube.com/sfunews


Comment Guidelines

Victoria resident

Ya gotta love SFU Library's archive of political cartoons about Andrew Petter, e.g.,


A "safe" choice, indeed.

J.N. Aasen

First of all, I would like to know what the word "civil" means to the person(s) who set the criteria for comments. It seems that it is a somewhat obscure word which leaves much arbitrary decision making to folks who may not like certain comments. In any event, it is my opinion that Petter's appointment is probably suffering from political influence. There is no disputing the fact he is an obvious political hack who has ties to the present government; enough said. I'm embarassed for the university and him.

In the event my comments are not deemed "civil", I will know a good deal more about S.F.U.

Barbara Franck

When I saw the name "Andrew Petter," it sounded vaguely familiar. I wasn't surprised to hear he had formerly been involved with government. I don't know anything about him or how principled a person he is...so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and wish him every success in his new job. I am very proud to be an SFU alumnus!


To J.N. Aasen:

Your comment is about Petter's appointment is not only amusing, it's patently absured.

Petter was an NDP MLA and Cabinet minister.

matt X

I like our SFU president right now. Don't understand why we can't keep him for another 5 year Term.

Greg Basham

Congratulations to both the university and Andrew Petter. As someone who has had a long association with SFU as former Alumni President, student leader and former governor and senator I am confident that Michael Stevenson is passing the torch into very capable hands. As a retired executive from a crown corporation for which Andrew was minister responsible it was clear in all our dealings that he was always motivated by sound public policy and a strong commitment to BC. SFU will be well served.

Greg Basham

CEO, eeVoices Limited,

Hong Kong SAR

It is clear that he has served admirably as the Dean of Law at UVic and thus brings to SFU a passion for higher education and an understanding of the challenges facing universities for funding, growth and excellence.

Rob Hopkins

Petter oozes class. He's a cut above the rest in style, content and delivery. All the carping is just sour grapes and thwarted ambition. Ask the SoCreds

Bisi Obadofin

Congratulations!!! I wish you happy tenure Andrew. The ball is now in your court; make sure you play it well. Simon Fraser University is a great Institution! We, the alumni want our great University to remain Great!!!.