SFU names Vancity CEO Tamara Vrooman as chancellor

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      The departing president and CEO of Canada's largest credit union has been named Simon Fraser University's 12th chancellor.

      The June 5 announcement came as Tamara Vrooman prepares to leave Vancity on June 30 to take up a new position as president and CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority.

      The chancellorship is effective June 13.

      In a news release, Andrew Petter, SFU's president and vice chancellor, praised Vrooman's sense of community and equality. 

      “Simon Fraser University is thrilled to welcome Tamara Vrooman as its next chancellor,” Petter said. “A respected leader and champion for social justice, she brings a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to community betterment that will help SFU advance its mission as Canada’s Engaged University.”

      The university's outgoing chancellor, Anne Giardini, has held the position since 2014.

      Chris (Syeta'xtn) Lewis, chairman of the SFU board, said in the release that Vrooman's experience and reputation for inclusion will benefit the school.

      “We are excited to announce Tamara Vrooman as SFU’s next chancellor,” Lewis said. “The university will greatly benefit from Tamara’s leadership and advocacy strengths as well as her dedication to an inclusive and sustainable world.”

      SFU awarded Vrooman an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, in 2016 for being "a transformational leader renowned for her commitment to addressing economic inequalities, advancing social justice and supporting a healthy and informed community".

      “It's an incredible honour and privilege to be appointed SFU’s Chancellor," Vrooman noted in the release. "It is also a particularly interesting moment to take on this role as the university embarks on an exciting period of development in a challenging environment.

      "Education will have a significant impact on the well-being and sustainability of our communities as we move forward," she added. "I’m excited to be advocating for SFU and the success of students and alumni as they contribute to a strong and sustainable future.”

      Vrooman has a long association with SFU, having collaborated with the university while Vancity CEO in founding the Vancity Office of Community Engagement at SFU Woodward’s and sponsoring the SFU Public Square Community Summit, an annual gathering of citizens to discuss and research issues of local and international importance.