York University announces re-appointment of Rhonda Lenton as President and Vice-Chancellor


TORONTO, May 4, 2021 — Today, Paul Tsaparis, Chair of York University’s Board of Governors, announced the re-appointment of President Rhonda Lenton for an additional five-year term, effective July 1, 2022. Lenton became York’s eighth president and vice-chancellor on July 1, 2017 and is in the fourth year of her first five-year term. Her vision for positive change has guided the University’s success, with a series of major initiatives underway and planned, including growing strengths in interdisciplinary research and innovation, new health sector partnerships, and international collaborations.

Lenton’s renewal concludes a rigorous and consultative process that was conducted in accordance with the York University Act (1965) and the Procedures Governing the Renewal of the Presidential Term.

image of Paul Tsaparis, Chair of York University’s Board of Governors

Paul Tsaparis, Chair of York University’s Board of Governors

“President Lenton is a thoughtful and engaging leader deeply committed to advancing York’s longstanding progressive values. Throughout her first term, Rhonda has brought considerable academic and administrative skill as the University set a bold academic path, undertaking significant new capital infrastructure projects, and engaging with our stakeholders and communities like never before,” said Paul Tsaparis, Chair, York University Board of Governors, “Throughout the ongoing global pandemic, she has led the University with empathy, clarity of purpose, and courage, and I was pleased to see such strong support for her renewal from many colleagues.”

A respected sociologist and researcher, President Lenton has taught and published broadly in the areas of gender, health, sexual violence, and higher education.

image of Rhonda Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor

Rhonda Lenton, York University President and Vice-Chancellor

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to continue serving our University community as president and vice-chancellor, and appreciate the confidence that the Board and so many other colleagues have placed in me,” said President Lenton. “While the global pandemic has demanded our focus and agility in unprecedented ways, I am proud of the way our students, alumni, faculty, course instructors, and staff — including many on the front lines — have come together to support one another and our community, while continuing to advance our strategic priorities and values. York’s future is bright, our path forward is clear, and I am proud to lead such a uniquely dynamic and diverse university.”

President Lenton has articulated a clear and differentiated vision for the University that informed York’s 2020-25 Academic Plan: Building a Better Future. Her consequential achievements to date include securing support for York’s Markham Centre Campus, now set to open in Fall 2023, the creation of a new Division of Equity, People and Culture providing leadership for the development of York’s equity strategy, the strong stewardship of the University through the pandemic, expanded research and innovation activities, and more. A new Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change was approved in 2020 and York’s international recognition continues to grow. Supported by an Internationalization and Global Engagement Strategy, the University has been ranked in the top 75 in the world by the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking for three years running.

President Lenton currently serves on the Universities Canada Board of Directors and Research Committee, and is Vice Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and Chair of the Standing Committee on Relationships with Other Postsecondary Institutions. She is also on the boards of ventureLab, the Conference Board of Canada, and the Loran Scholars Foundation. She is a Council member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and a member of the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER).

York University is a modern, multi-campus, urban university located in Toronto, Ontario. Backed by a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners, we bring a uniquely global perspective to help solve societal challenges, drive positive change and prepare our students for success. York's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. York’s campuses in Costa Rica and India offer students exceptional transnational learning opportunities and innovative programs. Together, we can make things right for our communities, our planet, and our future. 

Media contact:
Barbara Joy, barbjoy@yorku.ca, 416-333-3374