About Saint Mary's

2018 Presidential Review

Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray is in the fourth year of his first five-year term as President of Saint Mary's University. In accordance with the University by-laws, Dr. Summerby-Murray has asked the Board of Governors to extend his appointment for a second term of five years.

As required, the Saint Mary's Board of Governors established a Presidential Review Committee to review the President’s performance and make a recommendation to the Board on the re-appointment.

Early in October 2018, the Presidential Review Committee invited you to complete a Survey seeking feedback on President Summerby-Murray’s performance to date. The Survey was based on four themes for evaluation, and in the context of the 2017-2018 Priorities set for the President, as approved by the Board of Governors in 2017.

The Committee also appreciated that individuals or organizations seeking to participate in the Presidential Review Process may want to provide submissions in a format other than the Survey. Therefore, written submissions, by way of “hard copy” or e-mail, were accepted by the Committee up to November 1, 2018. The Committee has completed its mandate and has delivered its recommendation to the Board of Governors for further action, all in accordance with the University’s By-laws.

Thank you to the Saint Mary’s University Community

On behalf of the Presidential Review Committee, I want to thank all members of the University Community who responded to our invitation to participate in the review of President Robert Summerby-Murray.

It was important to the Committee to obtain views from many stakeholders, and our process achieved that objective.  We were pleased to receive fifty-three completed online surveys; nine written submissions from external respondents representing government, other university leaders, and sector organizations; and six written submissions from internal respondents. The Chair and Vice Chair of the Committee also conducted interviews with seven additional external respondents.

The Committee met five times and took great care to review and take into account all of this valuable feedback. As we previously advised, the Committee’s recommendation to the Board of Governors was due by December 3, 2018, and we have met this requirement.  The matter is now before the Board, and you will hear of the Board’s decision in due course.

I want to thank the Committee members. Every member engaged in the Committee’s mandate with a shared commitment to the best interests of our University and I am grateful.


Karen Oldfield


All questions about the Presidential Review Process can be directed to presidentreview@smu.ca.