Alastair Summerlee will take over as interim Carleton president and vice-chancellor on Aug. 1.
Diana Martin / Chatham Daily News

The unexpected loss of two senior administrators in a short period of time forced Carleton University to name a high-profile post-secondary executive as interim president and vice-chancellor, said Chris Carruthers, chair of the school’s board of governors.

Carleton announced on Tuesday that Alastair Summerlee, former president and vice-chancellor at the University of Guelph, was to become interim president and vice-chancellor on Aug. 1. 

The process of finding a permanent replacement for Roseann O’Reilly Runte may take up to a year, Carruthers said in an interview.

Having an interim president and vice-chancellor experienced with Ontario universities was an important factor in the hiring process, and Summerlee was a good candidate, Carruthers said.

O’Reilly Runte will be leaving at the end of July to become president and CEO of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. As well, Carleton provost Peter Ricketts has been appointed president and vice-chancellor of Acadia University and will be starting his new role this summer.

Having someone in the leadership role is “critical” to keep things running smoothly at the university, said Carruthers.

A process to fill the role with a permanent candidate is underway. Summerlee is eligible to apply for the permanent role, but Carruthers said he doesn’t think that is in his long-term plans.