Bill Flanagan reappointed as U of A president and vice-chancellor

Flanagan has been reappointed for a second term. He has served as U of A president and vice-chancellor since July 2020.

On June 25, Kate Chisholm, chair of the University of Alberta Board of Governors (BoG), announced in a statement the reappointment of Bill Flanagan as U of A president and vice-chancellor for a second term. Members of the university community received news of the announcement via their U of A emails.

Flanagan has served as U of A president and vice-chancellor for the past four years, since July 2020.

“President Flanagan is an outstanding leader and innovator, brought here to help us excel — which he has done,” Chisholm wrote.

In the announcement, Chisholm noted Flanagan’s handling of provincial funding cuts, student enrolment growth, the U of A’s rise in international rankings, and the creation of SHAPE, the U of A’s strategic plan.

“Instead of closing programs and faculties to make up for the budget shortfall, he launched the largest and most ambitious program of academic and administrative restructuring ever undertaken by a Canadian university,” the statement read.

Following the Edmonton Police Service’s (EPS) removal of a student-led Palestine solidarity encampment from Main Quad in May — at the university’s request — students, faculty, and other members of the U of A community called for Flanagan’s resignation.  

In response to the encampment removal, on May 23, the U of A Arts Faculty Council (AFC) passed a non-confidence vote in Flanagan’s leadership. There were 56 votes in favour of the non-confidence motion, seven against, and six abstentions.

Flanagan began the process of securing his second term in January 2024, with his current term scheduled to end on July 1, 2025. 

According to Chisholm, at the June 14 BoG meeting, the Presidential Review Committee and the Board Human Resources and Compensation Committee recommended that Flanagan be reappointed. BoG voted in favour of these recommendations, appointing Flanagan for his second term. 

Update: This article was updated at 12:52 p.m. to include the Arts Faculty Council’s vote of non-confidence in Flanagan’s leadership on May 23.

Peris Jones

Peris Jones is the 2024-25 News Editor at The Gateway. She previously served as the 2023-24 Deputy News Editor. She is in her third year, studying media studies and English. In her free time, she loves going to the gym, shopping, and watching movies with her friends.

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