Former University of Guelph president Alastair Summerlee has been appointed chair of the board of directors of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO).

His three-year term begins immediately.

“Alastair Summerlee has long been an advocate for the student experience in post-secondary education,” said HEQCO president and CEO Harvey Weingarten.

“Under his leadership, the University of Guelph has also been extremely active in developing and assessing learning outcomes – a key research priority for HEQCO. We look forward to benefiting from his experience and passion for higher education.”

An agency of the Government of Ontario, HEQCO was established in 2005 to study and evaluate post-secondary education, and to advise the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities on improvements to the province’s higher education system.

After joining U of G in 1988, Summerlee served as associate dean of the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) and as U of G’s dean of graduate studies. He was associate vice-president (academic) and provost and vice-president (academic) before being named as U of G’s seventh president in 2003.

As president, Summerlee emphasized civic engagement and voluntarism. He is executive director of Fund the Food, an initiative to address hunger and poverty at home and abroad and work in refugee camps. He also chairs the advisory board of Auburn University’s Hunger Solutions Institute.

A 3M Teaching Fellow, he teaches undergraduate students and supervises graduate students in OVC’s Department of Biomedical Sciences.