Provost at Queen's U appointed new president of Carleton University


The academic vice-principal and provost at Queen’s University in Kingston has taken a new job as president of Carleton University.

Benoit-Antoine Bacon, who has a PhD in neuropsychology, was appointed for a five-year term as Carleton president and vice-chancellor, the university announced Tuesday. He starts work July 1.

Carleton conducted an international search for a new president after Roseann Runte resigned in March 2017 to take a job as president and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Alastair Summerlee was appointed in July 2017 to serve as Carleton’s interim president and vice-chancellor while the university searched for a new president.

Bacon is an accomplished teacher, researcher and administrator, said Chris Carruthers, chair of the Carleton board of governors.

“As Carleton positions itself to respond to a changing university sector and increased competition, Benoit will play a critical leadership role in leading the organization and supporting our students, faculty and staff,” he says in a statement. “He is an experienced leader, having worked positions of progressive responsibility at other outstanding universities.”

Bacon is the 15th president at Carleton, which celebrated its 75th anniversary last year.

Bacon, in a statement, says he looks forward to “working with the whole community to leverage Carleton’s many outstanding strengths and to further enhance the institution’s relevance and impact nationally and internationally.”

Bacon is from Montreal, a French-Canadian who was encouraged by his father to study in English, he told the Queen’s Journal in 2016, the year he was appointed vice-principal at that university.

“I used both languages interchangeably, often in the same sentence,” he told the Journal.

Bacon obtained a PhD in neuropsychology from the University of Montreal. His job at Carleton will include a tenured appointment at the rank of professor in Carleton’s Department of Psychology.

He’ll bring a varied perspective to the challenge of labour relations at the university, which was hit by a month-long strike by support staff this spring. Bacon spent nearly a decade at Bishop’s University, where he was at one point the chief negotiator for the professors association before moving on to administration, eventually becoming the associate vice-principal of research.

Carleton has more than 30,000 full and part-time students and offers 65 programs of study, including international studies, public affairs, engineering and journalism.

Benoit-Antoine Bacon: Career in brief

Education: Bacon received his BA in psychology from Concordia and a master of science degree and PhD in neuropsychology from the University of Montreal. He also did post-doctoral work at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. His research in cognitive neuroscience focuses on the links between brain activity and perception in the visual and auditory systems, and on multi-sensory integration.

Bishop’s University: He was at the university in Lennoxville, Que. from 2004 to 2013 as a professor, dean of arts and science, associate vice-principal for research and chair of the psychology department. At one point, he was chief negotiator for the association of professors at the university. He also sang tenor in the Bishop’s University choir.

Concordia University: He was appointed vice-president academic affairs and provost for the Montreal institution in 2013. He received an award for being a “sustainability champion.”

Queen’s University: He was appointed vice-principal academic and provost in 2016, responsible for the development of the university’s budget and oversight of academic programs development.