The University of Saskatchewan’s Board of Governors today announced that Ilene Busch-Vishniac has been appointed the university’s ninth president. Busch-Vishniac’s term will commence July 1, 2012. She will replace Peter MacKinnon, who will step down June 30, 2012 after serving 13 years as president.
Currently the provost and vice-president academic for McMaster University, Busch-Vishniac previously served as dean of engineering at Johns Hopkins University and associate chair of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas (Austin). A graduate of the University of Rochester, Busch-Vishniac earned her Master of Science and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
As provost at McMaster University, Busch-Vishniac increased student enrollment at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, strengthened ties with Aboriginal communities, particularly with the Six Nations in Ontario, grew the full-time faculty complement, and led both the development of an activity-based budget system and systems renewal. She has also served as chair of the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents, and led the creation of a new quality assurance process for Ontario universities.
As dean of engineering at Johns Hopkins University, she raised millions of dollars in funding for the school, oversaw the construction of four new buildings, and chaired the university’s United Way campaign. In 2008, Johns Hopkins University created the Ilene Busch-Vishniac Lecture to honour her work on issues of diversity in engineering. Her research emphasis has been on noise control in hospitals, acoustic sensors and actuators, and curricular change for diversity enhancement in engineering education.
The Board of Governors was assisted in selecting the next president by the unanimous recommendation of the search committee, as well as by the public input the search committee received prior to undertaking the search. Through public town halls both on and off campus, and through comment cards and online submissions, the search committee gathered valuable feedback that helped to inform the search process.
The search committee was composed of Nancy Hopkins, board members Susan Milburn and David Sutherland as well as by Chancellor Vera Pezer, University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union President Scott Hitchings, Graduate Students Association member Xue Yao, Deans David Hill and Peter Stoicheff, and faculty members Michel Desautels, Ingrid Pickering, Keith Walker and Winona Wheeler.
Busch-Vishniac is married to Ethan Vishniac, currently a professor of physics and astronomy at McMaster and editor of The Astrophysical Journal.