EXPLAINER: Meet the two candidates vying for STU president, vice-chancellor

Nauman Farooqi, left, and Ian Sutherland are the two candidates vying to become St. Thomas University’s next president and vice-chancellor. (Submitted: Mount Allison University and Memorial University)

Students from St. Thomas University now know the names of the two finalists running to be the university’s next president and vice-chancellor.

In an email sent to the university community on Thursday morning, officials announced that Nauman Farooqi and Ian Sutherland will compete for the role. Both are set to participate in a round of public presentations for the campus community on Dec. 5 and 6.

Current President and Vice-Chancellor Dawn Russell, who went on administrative leave for an unknown reason on Nov. 21, is set to retire from her 12-year tenure on June 30, 2023. Kim Fenwick, STU’s vice president academic and research, is acting president and vice-chancellor.

The Aquinian compiled this list of what we know about the two candidates.

Nauman Farooqi

Nauman Farooqi is a professor and dean of business and social science at Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has worked at Mount A since 2000.

During this time, Farooqi was the first incumbent to serve as Mount A’s academic integrity officer, which allowed him to implement guidelines for appropriate academic conduct and administration.

He also served as chair of an Academic Matters Committee, becoming involved with new programs, curriculum proposals and review of changes or additions to academic programming, including the introductions of a bachelor of commerce with Aviation, bachelor of arts and science degree, health sciences degree and several certificate programs.

Farooqi’s work has taken him across Canada, the United States, South Asia and the Middle East. He earned a doctorate and master’s degree in business administration from the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.

According to LinkedIn, he also attended Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan, and F.G. Sir Syed College at Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan.

Outside of academia, Farooqi served as president and CEO of a money management and investment advisory firm and a research startup, and also was involved with the privatization of state-owned financial institutions as a consultant and advisor funded by the World Bank.

Ian Sutherland

Ian Sutherland is the vice president of Grenfell Campus at Memorial University in St. John’s, Nfld., a role they have held since 2021. Prior to that, they served as the university’s dean of the school of music and as an assistant professor.

According to their LinkedIn profile, they also served as an associate research fellow for the Centre for Leadership Studies and a social theory tutor in sociology, both at the University of Exeter in England.

In a biography released by St. Thomas University, Sutherland is recognized as “an expert at intersections of the arts, organizational development, business and leadership,” with equity, diversity, anti-racism and Indigenization work at the core of their leadership.

Identifying as a queer member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, Sutherland is deeply committed to enabling 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and community, and being an ally for change with all equity-deserving people.

Sutherland holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Memorial University and a doctorate in sociology and philosophy from the University of Exeter.

They were also named in 2019 as an honouree of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, an annual awards program that names outstanding young achievers in Canadian business, visionaries and innovators.

How to meet the candidates

David Ferguson, chair of the presidential search committee, said in an email to the STU community that Farooqi and Sutherland will participate in public presentations at Kinsella Auditorium.

Farooqi will speak on Dec. 5 at 2:30 p.m. and Sutherland will speak on Dec. 6 at 2:30 p.m.

Each presentation will include a question-and-answer period and be live-streamed. Recordings will also be made available for those who cannot attend.

The Aquinian will produce live coverage of each event on its social media pages and provide full recaps on its website.


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