Concordia University’s Board of Governors may have found an interim president to replace Judith Woodsworth who left the post just before Christmas. In a letter sent to faculty and students, board chair Peter Kruyt said that Fred Lowy is being recommended for the the president’s chair until a permanent replacement for Woodsworth can be found.
Lowy, who served as Concordia’s president between 1995 and 2005, could start as early as the end of the month. His appointment still has to be confirmed by a vote of the full board.
Meanwhile, tensions continue to simmer over Woodsworth’s departure. Although the board initially claimed that she left for “personal reasons” Woodsworth herself says she was pushed out, while several faculty councils have called for board members to resign, alleging a lack of transparency. The fact that Woodswoth, who left mid term, received a $700,000 severance package, equivalent to two years pay has also been a source of criticism. Claude Lajeunesse, Woodsworth’s immediate predecessor, also left part way through his term and also received a hefty payout.
In his letter, informing the Concordia community that Lowy was being recommended as interim president, Kruyt apparently acknowledged the tension. “Dr. Lowy will lead efforts to strengthen the Board’s working relationship with the Senior Administration and the Concordia community and he will make recommendations to the Board in this regard,” he wrote. “Clearly, there is some work to be done in this area as a result of recent events.”