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SFU re-appoints Joy Johnson as president and vice-chancellor for another term

February 01, 2024
Joy Johnson has been unanimously re-appointed as president and vice-president of Simon Fraser University for a further five-year term.

The university’s board of governors has unanimously re-appointed Joy Johnson to a further five-year term as president and vice-chancellor of Simon Fraser University.

The re-appointment begins Sept. 1, 2025 and runs to Aug. 31, 2030.  

“I am honoured to be serving as SFU’s president for another term, and grateful for the feedback shared with me and the reappointment committee,” says Johnson. “During my second term as president, I am committed to seeing through the great work we have started, including bolstering our academic and research mission, moving forward conversations around the SFU Medical School and continuing our journey towards Upholding Truth and Reconciliation.” 

Formerly SFU’s vice-president, research and international, Johnson took office on Sept. 1, 2020. During her first three years, she navigated the university through the pandemic, delivered a new institutional strategy, and made significant progress towards a medical school. She also oversaw the appointment of SFU’s first three Canada Excellence Research Chairs and furthered SFU’s commitments to the academic mission, Reconciliation and equity, diversity and inclusion.

“When I became president of SFU in 2020, in my first message to faculty and staff, I indicated there was no place I would rather be,” says Johnson. “I have repeated that sentiment over the years, and it continues to be true.  

“I believe the best is ahead for us at SFU as we increase our profile within the Canadian research university landscape, complete exciting construction projects on campus and increase our international reach. I am grateful that I have been given the opportunity to continue to serve this university, which impresses me more each day with its commitment to excellence and innovation and dedication to building a more inclusive and sustainable future for all.”   

The presidential reappointment committee consultations took place between Sept. 11 and Oct. 25, 2023. It included a community survey; two open forums; emails from the community directly to the board chair; a review of SFU’s external standing; and an interview with Johnson.

You can read more about the re-appointment review and consultation process, here.

“In reviewing the feedback, I was encouraged by the passion of our community,” says Johnson. “I heard that we need to work to enhance change management and strengthen our collaborative decision-making approach. I also heard that collegial governance and our commitment to the academic mission are more important than ever.  

“To me, this feedback validates much of the work we are currently undertaking, including the evolution of the Provost’s role, the operationalization of the People Plan and Equity Compass and aligning our structures and systems to support What’s Next: The SFU Strategy. As we look to the road ahead, I am committed to acting on this feedback as we work together to fulfill SFU’s vision and priorities.” 

SFU Board Chair Angie Lamarsh, who led an extensive review and community consultation, said the board was pleased with Johnson’s performance to date and her ambitious plans for the university.

“We are confident that she is the right person to carry out SFU’s vision of being a leading research university, advancing an inclusive and sustainable future,” Lamarsh says.