Western University announced Hanny Hassan will be the new chair of the Board of Governors starting in January 2016.
Hassan, a member of the board since 2009 and currently the vice-chair of the board, will replace Chirag Shah, who has served as chair since 2013. Paul Jenkins, a board member since 2010, was named the new vice-chair.
“Coming at this time when Western is going through some transition, there is some trepidation. I hope I can do the job,” Hassan in an interview. “I’m looking forward to perhaps going through some healing and moving us forward so that we’re all in sync.”
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1964 from Western and currently manages an independent consulting engineering practice in London. He is known for his extensive work in the community and is a frequent speaker at universities, church groups and service organizations. He was named to the Order of Canada in 2011.
Hassan was appointed as new chair by being nominated by the senior operations committee and winning an election that was held in a closed meeting of the board on November 26.
Hassan was a member of the governance review task force, which released a report highlighting concerns regarding the board’s practices and their communication with the external community.
“We are also very much engaged in looking at governance at other universities not only in Ontario but much more broadly,” he said.
He explained they’re also looking into a governance practice review, since the last time it was undertaken was in 1997. According to him, this kind of review should be done every five to 10 years instead of 20 years.