About Saint Mary's

2018 Presidential Review

Dear Members of the Saint Mary’s community,

The Saint Mary’s University Board of Governors is pleased to announce that Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray has been appointed to a second five-year term as President of Saint Mary’s University, beginning 1 July 2020.

Under his leadership since 2015, the university has increased investments in student scholarships, fellowships and bursaries by approximately $3 million and increased its capacity to raise revenue from additional sources beyond tuition and government funding. This focus has led to significant increases in industry-sponsored research projects now valued at $4.73 million per year, and total research funding, topping $8.4 million this year.

The university has also seen a substantial increase in philanthropic investment led by an $18 million gift from members of the Sobey family, the Sobey Foundation and Sobeys Inc. This gift, along with increases in philanthropic investments at Saint Mary’s, is already leading to significant benefits in student experience and bursaries, research projects and fellowships, and university infrastructure.

The Saint Mary’s University Board of Governors welcomes Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray to another five-year term as President.

Lawrence (Larry) Freeman, Q.C.
Chair, Saint Mary’s University Board of Governors


In the Fall of 2018, the Board initiated a Presidential Review in accordance with the University by-laws, to respond to Dr. Summerby-Murray’s request that the Board of Governors extend his appointment for a second term of five years, commencing July 1, 2020.

As required, the Saint Mary's Board of Governors established a Presidential Review Committee to review the President’s performance and make a recommendation to the Board on the re-appointment.

Early in October 2018, the Presidential Review Committee invited the University community to complete a survey seeking feedback on President Summerby-Murray’s performance to date. The Survey was based on four themes for evaluation, and in the context of the 2017-2018 Priorities set for the President, as approved by the Board of Governors in 2017.

The Committee also appreciated that individuals or organizations seeking to participate in the Presidential Review Process may want to provide submissions in a format other than the Survey. Therefore, written submissions, by way of “hard copy” or e-mail, were accepted by the Committee up to November 1, 2018. The Committee completed its mandate and delivered its recommendation to the Board of Governors for further action, all in accordance with the University’s By-laws.

The Board of Governors accepted the unanimous recommendation of the Committee that the appointment of President Summerby-Murray be renewed. The Board asked the President Performance and Compensation Committee to negotiate a new contract with the President, in accordance with that committee’s terms of reference. The President Performance and Compensation Committee completed this work and delivered a recommended contract to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. The Executive Committee of the Board is empowered to act on behalf of the Board in matters related to employment and labour relations.

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