Office of the President

Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor

Michael Stevenson, President Emeritus

Biography

Michael Stevenson became the eighth President of Simon Fraser University in 2000, and stepped down after completing ten years in office at the end of August 2010.

Dr. Stevenson is an accomplished scholar.  His undergraduate education in history and politics at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa led to graduate studies in the United States and a PHD from Northwestern University.  He was awarded the top graduate student fellowship awarded by that university, a national Bobbs-Merrill Prize for graduate studies in political science, and a post-doctoral Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship for teaching and research in Nigeria.

He held academic appointments at universities in Canada, the United States and Africa, and published widely on the post-independence politics of Africa as well as on political culture and public policy issues in Canada.  His book on shifts in public opinion and public policy in the 1970s and 1980s, coauthored with Michael Ornstein, won the 2000 Harold Innis Prize for the best book in the social sciences published in Canada.

Dr. Stevenson had lengthy experience in university administration.  For a decade prior to his appointment as President of Simon Fraser University, he served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts, and as Vice-President Academic and Provost at York University.  Amongst many community and professional involvements, he served on the Board of the Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems (MITACS), as Chair of the University Presidents’ Council of British Columbia, Chair of the Council of Western Canadian University Presidents, Chair of the Standing Committee on Educational Issues and Funding of the Association of Colleges and Universities of Canada, and as a Director on the Vancouver Board of Trade and the BC Business Council.  He is currently Chair of the British Columbia Council for International Education.  He also serves on the Board of Genome BC.

Under his leadership, Simon Fraser University was involved in significant expansion and innovation, including the incorporation of the former Technical University of British Columbia and the creation of the SFU Surrey campus; the establishment of a new Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Environment, and Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology; the development of a pioneering joint degree programme with one of China’s premier universities in addition to other significant initiatives in international education; the opening of the new Segal Graduate School of Business, and the new School for the Contemporary Arts at Woodward’s in downtown Vancouver; an award winning market housing development, and extensive new research and teaching facilities on the Burnaby Mountain campus.  In 2009, under his leadership, SFU received the Gold Medal for innovation and leadership in the public sector from the Institute of Public Administration of Canada.