Let’s give a Warrior Welcome to Dr. Vivek Goel!

Sabrina Khandakar
Student Senator, Member of the Presidential Nominating Committee
Tue, 11/17/2020 - 17:15


Hey Warriors,

I’m Sabrina, your Senator at-Large and a member of the university’s Board of Governors. Over the past 11 months I’ve had the privilege of being on the Presidential Nomination Committee; a group tasked to select the 7th President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waterloo. I am excited to say that just yesterday, the university announced that we will be welcoming Dr. Vivek Goel as our next President!

The selection of Dr. Goel is after a thorough, and consultative process. The Presidential Nomination Committee (PNC), was assembled in the fall of 2019, and was composed of 19 voting members from across campus. This included an undergraduate and graduate student representative, who were present for all meetings and interviews. Additionally, I personally had the chance to meet with representatives from student groups like WUSA, and RAISE to discuss what they hoped to see in the incoming President. Some of you may also recall that back in January there was a campus and community-wide call for input for the PNC. All of the feedback gained from these efforts were directly used to guide the committee in crafting the job description, as well as the criteria to evaluate the candidates.

Dr. Goel stood out as a candidate from the get go, as his experience perfectly aligned with the expectations shared by our campus. Students, staff and faculty were quite unanimous in their desire to see a president who has a strong record of commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). As Vice-President Research and Innovation at the U of T Dr. Goel made EDI one the university’s five strategic research priorities, and as founding president of Public Health Ontario he worked with Indigenous leaders across Ontario to address community concerns. Mental health is another priority that was brought forward by students and faculty alike, and I believe Dr. Goel’s background as a physician uniquely equips him to address mental health and wellness at Waterloo. Overall, Dr. Goel’s extensive work at U of T and Public Health Ontario paired with his breadth of research, illustrate his leadership capability; scholarly credibility; strength in external engagement, and the values of a Waterloo President.

On a personal note, being a member of the PNC has been one of the most enriching parts of my time at Waterloo. The PNC was formed with such a unique cross section of people on campus, that I left each meeting with new knowledge and insights – I suppose it should be unsurprising that Waterloo would manage to turn even a search committee into a form of experiential learning. 

I would like to both congratulate and thank Dr. Goel for taking on his new position! I have full confidence in Dr. Goel’s ability to lead Waterloo to success and bring to life our strategic plan. If you would like to personally share your best wishes or perspectives with the President Designate, I encourage you to send a message to this email address: president-designate@uwaterloo.ca