Renison appoints new Chancellor

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Renison University College and its Board of Governors is very pleased to announce that Jodey Porter has been appointed its 10th Chancellor. Porter’s four-year term, effective as of Friday, September 1, 2023, was enthusiastically and unanimously approved during a special meeting of Renison’s Board of Governors on Wednesday, August 30, 2023.

A long and illustrious career as an Ontario public servant, Porter has served as Assistant Deputy Minister of Health for the Province of Ontario; she has held three terms as Ontario Human Rights Commissioner; she was a staff member at the United Nations Human Rights Commission; she was the Executive Director of the Canadian Diabetes Association; and Director of Development for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

Porter also gives generously through her volunteer efforts. In addition to advancing the work of Doctors Without Borders, where she recently served as part of the organization’s hostage negotiation team, Porter was President and founder of the Low Vision Association of Ontario, Chairman of the Board Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped, (ARCH), and executive member of the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy. She has served on over a dozen charitable organization boards and was recently recognized for her service to local, national, and international organizations by receiving the Rotary Club’s prestigious Paul Harris Award.

“It is hard to imagine finding an individual who more closely aligns with the Mission of Renison University College and our commitment to the ethos of One Sky Over All – the belief that a just world creates space for all: dignity, respect , justice and opportunity for all,” said Renison President, Dr. Wendy L. Fletcher. “Jodey epitomizes Renison’s commitment to service, social justice, and cultural fluency. We are beyond delighted that she has agreed to serve as Chancellor.” These sentiments were shared by Board Chair, Karen Spencer, who added: “as the titular head of Renison, it is fitting that the Chancellor serve as a strong advocate for the Vision, Mission, and Goals of the College. Jodey exemplifies the work that Renison’s faculty, staff and students have long committed to fulfilling; this is an excellent fit for Renison.”

"I have always been more interested in looking forward than looking back,” said Porter. “This opportunity to work in the field of education will allow me to look forward in a new and exciting way. There is so much potential and promise in the young hearts and young minds that contribute to the story of Renison; I am excited to start this new journey.” Porter also found out through the process that she has a strong familial connection to Renison, adding, “On a more personal note, I discovered only after accepting the appointment that almost fifty years ago to the day, my father, the late Bishop Morse Robinson, embarked on a similar journey with Renison as the College’s third Chancellor. This opportunity feels like a gift, and I am grateful to receive it.”

The official Installation ceremony will take place at Renison University College on November 29, 2023. More details to follow.