Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
~ Nelson Mandela
This fall the Laurentian University board of governors renewed Dominic Giroux's appointment as president and vice-chancellor until June 30, 2019.
Giroux has brought fresh dynamism to Laurentian, and the community is better off for it.
Only 33 when he took office in April 2009, Giroux is the youngest university president in Canada. He now oversees a $132-million budget, close to 10,000 students, 1,000 employees and $25 million in research.
During his first term as president, the university secured approval for the School of Architecture, established the Goodman School of Mines and the Centre for Academic Excellence, approved $51 million in campus renewal and modernization, and developed a clear vision for its Barrie campus. Enrolment and national recognition are on the rise, and historic eight-figure private gifts have been made to the university.
Developed under his leadership, the university's 2012-2017 Strategic Plan sets out clear goals and outcomes to enhance student engagement and satisfaction, increase enrolment while continuing to raise the average entry grade, increase annual research grants, and achieve greater national recognition for 19 signature programs such as Engineering, Forensic Science, Francophone History and Theatre, Native Human Services, Sports Administration and Rural and Northern Health, and nine areas of research excellence such as stressed watershed systems and mining innovation and exploration.
Giroux has always been something of a prodigy; he has a long resume for someone under 40. He was only 19 when elected trustee to an Ottawa school board, he has an MBA from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales in Montreal, and two bachelor degrees from the University of Ottawa in Social Sciences and
Prior to his post at Laurentian, Giroux was assistant deputy minister with the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. He led a team of 1,200 employees in 10 cities. He played a key role in the renewal of more than 400 collective agreements in education expiring in 2008, championed the creation of the Aboriginal Education Office as well as French-language education.
More recently, he was one of four members of the Drummond Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services and was co-special adviser on the implementation of a Northern Policy Institute.
Respected by his peers, Giroux has been asked to serve as co-chair of the new Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT), and as one of 12 presidents on the board of directors of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). He is co-chair of the Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS) and served as vice-chair of the Association des universités de la francophonie canadienne (AUFC).
Recipient of one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 Awards in 2011, Giroux also received one of the Queen's Jubilee Medals and was named the 2010 Education Personality of the Year by Radio-Canada/LeDroit. He has recently been recruited to The Globe and Mail's Higher Education Advisory Panel and to the Mowat Centre's advisory board.
A young leader in a hurry, Giroux is known for being accessible to his students and staff. He maintains a blog, he tweets in both official languages, and has a Facebook page.