Provost, taskforce to develop shortlist of Ryerson name change by winter semester’s end

1 April 2022 / by Daniel Centeno
Trees with yellow leaves surround a background of buildings on grey concrete.

The Standing Strong Task force announces the development of a shortlist of new names to consider to replace Ryerson this month.

The shortlist will be submitted to the office of university President Mohamed Lachemi by the end of March, according to a recent press release, with the new name set to be in place for the 2022-2023 school year.

The press release reads that over 30,000 individuals provided input for the name change during the December 2021 online survey. Community members, including students, staff, workers and others were eligible to suggest possible new names during a three week long survey.

This information, coupled with feedback received from the community around campus, continues to shape the task force’s determination of a “viable short list.”

The new name will be shared publicly once the university board of governors gives its approval.

Provost and co-chair of the task force, Professor Jennifer Simpson was asked to comment on what factors were considered for the creation of the short list, as well as to what extent two external firms affected the decision-making process.

No response was given at this time.

In a letter on the university website, Simpson wrote on March 1 that “the renaming of the institution is just one of the commitments the university has made in accepting the recommendations of the task force.”

Further, it reads that the name change is a “great responsibility” for the university and that the community will continue to be informed on the process.

Also, the letter states that an external research firm helped to “develop, implement, and analyze an extensive community engagement and input process once the submissions were gathered.”

The main action plan in January initially outlined that the name change would be chosen by the end of the winter semester and would be implemented for the next school year.

All information, including the 22 reccomendations the university accepted from the taskforce and breakdown of the tentative timeline for the name change, are included on the school’s Next Chapter website, which was launched in December once the online survey ended.

Some recommendations include commemoration and truth and reconciliation and the responsibility to educate the community on the colonial history of Egerton Ryerson – the school’s namesake. Egerton Ryerson was responsible in the creation of Canada’s Residential School System.

Other recommendations include creating a public space for an Indigenous art installation and acknowledgement of the land the university occupies.

Further, annual update reports on the status of recommendations being completed and upheld by the university will be shared with the community starting in September 2022.

Lachemi and university director of communications Karen Benner were contacted to comment on the shortlist update as well.

No response was given at this time.

More details to come.

Listen to the CJRU news update here: