October 15, 2009


McMaster announces next president

Hamilton, Ont. October 15, 2009Patrick Deane will be the next president of McMaster University. Deane is currently the vice-principal (Academic) of Queen’s University and will become McMaster’s president on July 1, 2010.

The announcement was made today following approval by the Board of Governors.  The appointment is for a five-year term with Deane succeeding Peter George, who will complete his 15th year as president on June 30, after 45 years at the University.

“We conducted an international search for the new president and received nominations for a significant number of highly qualified candidates,” said Don Pether, chair of McMaster’s Board of Governors.  “The Selection Committee knew that it needed to find a candidate with a highly respected academic background, exceptional leadership abilities, and a compelling vision of how to build on the significant accomplishments that have made McMaster a national and internationally recognized university.  The successful candidate also needed a proven ability to build relationships with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the University’s community and external partners who help make McMaster’s success possible. The Committee found an outstanding candidate.”   

The selection committee included faculty, student, staff and Board representatives and began its search for a new president at the beginning of the year.

“McMaster is one of the country’s most dynamic universities with an enviable record of innovation and integration of research and teaching,” said Deane.  “I look forward to joining the McMaster family, to meeting people at the University, our alumni, supporters, and members of the Hamilton community. I know we will find ways to work together to further strengthen the University's programs, opportunities and reputation."

Deane was born and raised in South Africa where he read English and Law at the University of Witwatersrand.  He immigrated to Canada in 1978 and studied English Literature at the University of Western Ontario earning his M.A. in 1980 and his Ph.D. in 1985.  He began his academic career at the University of Toronto but returned to Western to join the Department of English in1988, the same year he was awarded the John Charles Polanyi Prize for Literature.  He was appointed chair in 1997.

In 2001, Deane became the vice-president (Academic) at the University of Winnipeg.  He also served for two years as senior university officer for Inter-Universities North, the consortium of three universities delivering post-secondary programs in Northern Manitoba.  He became acting-president of the University of Winnipeg in 2002.

He returned to Ontario in 2005, accepting his current position at Queen’s University providing academic leadership to all seven faculties and schools, the Office of the Registrar, Institutional Planning and Analysis, and Student Affairs. 

“The Committee to Select a New President has done an excellent job in finding a candidate who combines a distinguished academic career with a track record of success in academic planning, financial management and innovative approaches to fundraising and community relations,” said McMaster President Peter George.


Additional Information

Report of the Committee to Recommend a President


Biographical note: Patrick Deane


Photo of Patrick Deane


Patrick Deane’s CV


McMaster University, one of four Canadian universities listed among the Top 100 universities in the world, is renowned for its innovation in both learning and discovery. It has a student population of 23,000, and more than 140,000 alumni in 128 countries.


 For more information contact:

Andrea Farquhar

Director, Public & Government Relations

McMaster University

W: 905-525-9140 ext. 23658

C: 905-515-7075


Jane Christmas

Manager, Public and Media Relations

McMaster University

W: 905-525-9140, ext. 27988

C: 905-518-7963