Headlines (Campus Updates)
Laurier welcomes a new president and vice-chancellor
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
WATERLOO — Dr. Max Blouw, Laurier’s incoming president and vice-chancellor, loves the sport of fly fishing. It’s all about skill, patience and getting to know the river. As he prepares to take on the president’s duties September 1, he’s approaching the job with the same thoughtful deliberation needed to set up a good forward cast.
“I’m very much in listening mode,” says Blouw, a biologist with a strong background in research and administration. “I’m looking forward to meeting as many people as possible and getting to know the Laurier community.”
Blouw is delighted to be at Laurier, which he describes as a “dynamic university with an excellent reputation for teaching, research and sense of community.” It’s a reputation he plans to embrace as he leads the university toward its centenary in 2011 and beyond.
“Laurier has undergone a period of impressive development in recent years,” says Blouw. “These achievements have provided the university with the potential to choose its place in a world that has become very competitive and complex. The challenge now is to step back and ask: How do we make the most of that potential?”
To answer this question, Blouw plans to spend the next 12-18 months consulting with a wide variety of people, both within the university and without. The goal is to craft a clear, concise vision statement that will capitalize on Laurier’s strengths and guide the university forward.
“This process of developing a vision statement for Laurier will be inclusive, consultative and thorough,” emphasizes Blouw. “I believe we need to work collaboratively to ensure the brightest future for this remarkable university.”
Blouw comes to Laurier from the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), where he served most recently as vice-president of research. He was instrumental in developing the school into one of the most research-intensive small universities in Canada. He grew UNBC’s annual research funds to $18 million from $3 million in less than 10 years, and played a key role in increasing its endowment to $40 million.
In addition to his development success, Blouw brings to Laurier an in-depth understanding of how universities operate. He knows the administrative side from his various roles at UNBC, which included vice-president of research, associate vice-president and dean of graduate studies. He also worked with the Board of Governors and various committees at UNBC and at St. Francis Xavier University, where he taught previously. As a professor and researcher, he understands and appreciates the role of faculty. He also understands the important relationship between universities and governments. He has taken an active role in numerous local, regional and national committees, including chairing the university advisory group to Industry Canada and serving as an executive council member of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
Blouw was the unanimous choice of a Laurier search committee that spent many months looking for a successor to Dr. Bob Rosehart, who completes his second term as president and vice-chancellor on Friday.
“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Blouw to Laurier,” says Beverly Harris, chair of the Laurier Board of Governors. “I am confident that he will work in a collaborative and collegial way to build a vision for Laurier that will lead the university into its second century.”
Blouw, who will be officially installed as the university’s eighth president during a special ceremony October 25, greets his new role with enthusiasm.
“Laurier is well-known for its vitality and passionate school spirit,” he says. “It’s a great privilege to be invited to join such a wonderful community.”
Blouw will get to know the Laurier community and its school spirit very well over the next month as he participates in orientation week activities, watches his first Golden Hawks football game and greets alumni during homecoming.
In the meantime, he and his wife Lynn are settling into a new home with their three dogs (two of which came with the rural property!) and are looking forward to visits from their two adult sons.
And, if time permits, Laurier’s new president hopes to get in some fly fishing on the nearby Grand River.
By Lori Chalmers Morrison