Search for Mount Allison’s 16th President and Vice-Chancellor

Feb. 29, 2024 update

On Feb. 29, 2024, the Board of Regents of Mount Allison University announced the appointment of Dr. Ian Sutherland as the University’s 16th President and Vice-Chancellor, effective July 15, 2024.

Dr. Sutherland’s appointment is the result of a comprehensive search and a unanimous recommendation of the Presidential Search Committee, and unanimous approval from the Board. Read full announcement.


Dr. Ian Sutherland (he/they) is Mount Allison University’s 16th President and Vice-Chancellor. A respected academic leader, he has a deep belief in the transformative power of education and the role that Mount Allison can play in helping manage the change and challenges of today’s world.

Dr. Sutherland most recently served as a Vice-President of Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador, with primary responsibility for leading the Grenfell Campus — an institution dedicated to the liberal arts and science tradition, in the tight-knit community of Corner Brook. Prior to that appointment, he served for five years as Dean of Memorial University’s School of Music, and six years as Associate Dean (Research) and Director of Doctoral Studies, at the IEDC-Bled School of Management in Slovenia. He has also held research and teaching appointments in the United Kingdom, Poland, and Germany, and provided consulting services in more than forty countries worldwide.

Born and raised in the small outport town of Lewisporte, Newfoundland, Dr. Sutherland understands the importance of community and connection. This has influenced his approach to leadership — a purpose-driven approach that puts people first. Through collaboration and creativity, he seeks to create opportunity, space, and mobilize resources for others to succeed. He strives for a culture that is community.

Identifying as queer, Dr. Sutherland believes that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI) must be at the core of university leadership and life. He is deeply committed to enabling 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and community and all equity deserving groups, particularly in the sphere of leadership.

An intense interdisciplinarian, Dr. Sutherland academic background comes from the creative and liberal arts and includes work in leadership and leadership development, cultural sociology, creativity, music and musicology. Originally training as a professional pianist Dr. Sutherland holds B.Mus. (Hons) and M. Mus. Degrees from the School of Music of Memorial University (Canada) and completed his PhD in Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Exeter (UK). He is deeply devoted to intellectual exploration and the application of critical thinking to better our shared world.

Deeply committed to community engagement, Dr. Sutherland has many community engagement projects, and actively works with and serves with a number of community and sectoral organizations. Currently Dr. Sutherland is on the Board of Directors of Quadrangle NL 2SLGBTQIA+ Community Centre and the Board of Business and Arts of Newfoundland and Labrador. He was among the 2019 honourees of Canada’s “Top 40 Under 40”, an annual program that recognizes Canadian influencers for their exceptional achievements.

Presidential search committee

The Presidential Search Committee is made up of representatives of the Board of Regents, faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

The Committee is charged with conducting a broad, fair, and effective recruitment process to attract a strong field of candidates for the position. They will develop the position profile and key selection criteria with valuable input from the Mount Allison community and conduct interviews with short-listed candidates.

The Committee will recommend a preferred candidate to the Board of Regents.

Committee members:

  • Cheryl Hodder (Chair/Regent)
  • Gita Anand (Regent)
  • Christy DeMont (Alumni)
  • Brent Hawkes (Regent)
  • Paul Henry (Regent)
  • Andrew Nurse (Faculty)
  • Rachelle Pascoe Deslauriers (Faculty)
  • Andrea Phinney (Staff)
  • Spencer Scott (Student)
Committee members bios

Cheryl Hodder (Chair/Regent)  
Cheryl Hodder KC, ICD.D (‘81) is the Chief Executive Officer of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. She has more than 30 years of legal, governance and executive business experience, including serving as the Chief Sustainability and Legal officer at Canada Post Corporation. Cheryl is a seasoned director with experience in the private sector, Crown corporation, and not for profit boards. She is currently the Vice Chair of Mount Allison’s Board of Regents.

Gita Anand (Regent)
Gita Anand (she/her) is a labour and employment lawyer.  She is a member of the Board of Regents and chairs the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board.

Christy DeMont (Alumni)
Christy DeMont (‘80) (she/her) is the Past President of the Mount Allison Federated Alumni and is a member of the Mount Allison Class of 1980. She lives in Toronto and works as a Principal at The Osborne Group, where her practice specializes in Information Technology Leadership and Strategic Consulting.

Brent Hawkes (Regent)
Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes (‘72) is a Mount Allison alumnus and a member of the Board of Regents. He was the Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto for 40 years. He is the Executive Director of Rainbow Faith and Freedom, a non-profit organization that helps secure inclusion and affirmation for LGBTI people around the world.

Paul Henry (Regent)
Paul Henry (‘85) is the Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee and Chair of the Facilities Committee for the Board of Regents. He is a CPA by profession and has spent the past 25 years investing in private companies. Paul has been a proud Allisonian for over 40 years, along with his wife Jennifer Ferguson ('85) and three of his five children Elenor ('14), Madeleine ('19), and Julia ('25). Paul is a strong advocate for a small school liberal arts education along with the extracurricular opportunities, particularly athletics, that Mount Allison can offer.

Andrew Nurse (Faculty) 
Dr. Andrew Nurse (he/him) is an associate professor of Canadian Studies at Mount Allison University and acting director of the Canadian studies program. He is a contributing editor to and serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association and Acadiensis. He lives in Sackville with his wife Mary Ellen and teaches courses on Canadian public history, landscape, and public life. His current research focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning, in particular issues relating to academic integrity. He is also currently vice-president of the Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA).

Rachelle Pascoe Deslauriers (Faculty)
Dr. Rachelle Pascoe-Deslauriers (she/her) is an associate professor, cross-appointed to the Ron Joyce Centre for Business Studies and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. She is a work and employment scholar in areas related to job quality and the intersections of business strategy and employment practice. Her teaching is in the areas of strategy, human resource management, and gender and work.

Andrea Phinney (Staff)
Andrea Phinney has been an employee at Mount Allison University for 21 years and is currently the payroll & benefits coordinator within the Department of People and Culture. She represents the staff members of Mount Allison University, including MASA union members, CUPE 2338 union members, and non-bargaining employees.

Spencer Scott (Student)
Spencer Scott is a fourth-year honours biochemistry student and Vice-President of Academic & University Affairs for the Mount Allison Students' Union (MASU). During his time at Mount Allison he’s had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant, tutor, and residence assistant.


This is a confidential search process. Confidentiality throughout the search is important to attracting the largest and best pool of candidates. Presidential Search Committee members must keep all discussions, deliberations, and documents relating to the search confidential both during and after the completion of the search.

Search timeline

The Presidential Search Committee will work over the coming months to develop a list of candidates for the position of President and Vice-Chancellor and ultimately to recommend a preferred candidate to the Board of Regents.

The Committee is working with the following general timeline, which will be adjusted as necessary.

Summer 2023 Presidential Search Committee convened and began
Fall 2023

Consultations with the Mount Allison community and other stakeholders to assist in developing the position profile.

The recruiter will promote the opportunity nationally and internationally and proactively seek out a diverse roster of candidates, forming the long list.

Winter 2024 A short list of candidates will be vetted and interviewed by the Search Committee and refined to a final roster of candidates to visit campus and review feedback.
Spring 2024 The Search Committee will recommend a preferred candidate to the Board of Regents.
Summer 2024 Onboarding of new President and Vice-Chancellor.

Search updates

Jan. 16, 2024 — First step of interview process complete

The Search Committee has concluded virtual interviews with a diverse and highly accomplished group of candidates.

Following this first step in the interview process, the committee anticipates meeting in person with a final roster of candidates in the coming weeks. These meetings will involve members of the Search Committee and a number of University representatives. Feedback from these meetings will be consolidated and provided to the Search Committee to inform their deliberations.
All final candidates have agreed to leadership assessments, education verification, criminal background checks, and 360 references. This information is important to the Search Committee in informing their recommendation to the Board of Regents.
The search consultants have spoken with over 200 individuals about the opportunity with Mount Allison. This work, as well as the advertising campaign, has generated a very positive response. As a result, the Search Committee is pleased with the calibre of the applicant pool, which is both vast and diverse.

Updates will continue to be provided as the process moves forward.

Oct. 25, 2023 — Release of official job advertisement

The community consultation phase of Mount Allison’s Presidential Search has concluded and search firm Royer Thompson has released the official job advertisement.

Thank you to everyone who has engaged with the Presidential Search process through in-person and online consultations and the online survey. We greatly appreciate all the feedback that has helped to shape this important search profile.

Entering this public phase of the search is the next consequential step in finding Mount Allison’s 16th President & Vice-Chancellor and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Oct. 6, 2023 — Community Consultation Sessions

Mount Allison’s next President and Vice-Chancellor will play a pivotal role in developing a collaborative, diverse, and inclusive campus culture — influencing the direction we take, upholding the values and traditions that define us, and shaping the future of our university.

The selection of a University President is a critical endeavour — one that requires the active involvement of our entire community. The Presidential Search Committee is seeking input from all segments of our community to gather your thoughts, perspectives, and priorities for the University’s next President and Vice-Chancellor.

Community consultation opportunities

The Presidential Search Committee encourages your thoughts, perspectives, and priorities for Mount Allison’s next President and Vice-Chancellor, including the experience, characteristics, qualities, and leadership attributes you believe are of critical importance for our next President.

Your feedback will help inform the leadership profile, lived experience, and qualifications we seek through this process.

These consultations are a KEY part of the search process and you are encouraged to share your thoughts and perspectives with the Committee, in any of the following ways.

  • Complete the confidential online survey (open until Oct. 10, 2023)
    If you are unable to attend a community consultation session or would like to submit your input anonymously, please fill out the online survey.
  • Community Consultation Sessions
    • Virtual (for students, faculty, and staff): Sept. 21-22
    • In-person: Sept. 25-26 for faculty and staff; Sept. 26 and Oct. 11 for students
  • E-mail potential candidate suggestions — if you have a potential candidate in mind, suggestions can be emailed to

I look forward to working alongside you as we embark upon selecting our next leader! If you want to reach out to me directly with questions or comments, contact Thank you for your valuable contributions to this important process.

Cheryl Hodder, KC  
Chair, Presidential Search Committee

Aug. 30, 2023 — Presidential Search Committee announced

To ensure a thorough and inclusive search process, working collaboratively with search firm partner Royer Thompson, a Presidential Search Committee has been established. 
Comprised of representatives from faculty, staff, students, alumni, and members of the Board of Regents, the search committee members include:

  • Cheryl Hodder (Chair/Regent)
  • Gita Anand (Regent)
  • Christy DeMont (Alumni)
  • Brent Hawkes (Regent)
  • Paul Henry (Regent)
  • Andrew Nurse (Faculty)
  • Rachelle Pascoe Deslauriers (Faculty)
  • Andrea Phinney (Staff)
  • Alivia Warr (Student)

Over the coming weeks, the Presidential Search Committee will be seeking input from all segments of the community to gather thoughts, perspectives, and priorities. Feedback will help inform the leadership profile and qualifications.
Times for these sessions will be announced soon; updates will be posted as they become available.

July 1, 2023 — Professional search consultant announced

Mount Allison has engaged a professional search consultant, Royer Thompson, who has successfully worked with Mount Allison in recent years. Consultation is a key part of the search process as the Board and the search committee refine the key priorities for the next President and develop the ideal candidate profile.

The firm will assist in establishing a search strategy, developing an executive brief and advertising program conducting targeted recruiting, facilitating interviews, and creating a transition plan for the successful candidate. 

While the scope of their engagement will focus on the recruitment of the next President and Vice-Chancellor, the Board as well as the University Cabinet will also seek their input regarding the appointment of an Interim President.

Search firm

Mount Allison has engaged professional search consultant, Royer Thompson, to assist in the search for a new President and Vice-Chancellor.

The firm will assist in establishing a search strategy, developing an executive brief and advertising program conducting targeted recruiting, facilitating interviews, and creating a transition plan for the successful candidate.

Royer Thompson is a full-service, Canadian, human resource consulting firm, focused on capturing the full potential of people in organizations by supporting a shared sense of purpose, recruiting, cultivating leadership, and fostering an innovative and caring spirit. For over 25 years, Royer Thompson has been recruiting leaders from national and international pools of talent.

Kim West, Search Lead
Jenna Gromack, Associate,

Questions? Email