Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Jim Leech installed as new chancellor

  • Chancellor Leech Installation
    Jim Leech, the 14th Chancellor of Queen's University, delivers his speech after his installation at Grant Hall on Tuesday.
  • Chancellor Leech Installation
    Jim Leech receives his ceremonial robe as he is installed as the 14th Chancellor of Queen's University at the start of the fall convocation ceremonies in Grant Hall.
  • Chancellor Leech Installation
    Jim Leech, the 14th Chancellor of Queen's University, delivers his speech after his installation at Grant Hall on Tuesday.
  • Chancellor Leech Installation
    Chancellor Jim Leech receives a letter of congratulations from a representative of Western University after his installation on Tuesday.
  • Chancellor Leech Installation
    Chancellor Jim Leech, centre, looks on with Principal Daniel Woolf, left, and Rector Mike Young, during Tuesday morning's convocation ceremony at Grant Hall.

When graduates ascend the stage at fall convocation this year to receive their hoods and diplomas, they will be greeted by Queen’s new chancellor, Jim Leech, MBA’73, who was officially installed on the morning of Nov. 18.  

The university chancellor presides over convocations, confers degrees and chairs annual meetings of the University Council. Chancellor Leech is the 14th person to hold the position since its creation 140 years ago. Previous chancellors have included Sir Sandford Fleming and Sir Robert Borden.

“I’m honoured by this opportunity to become more involved in the university community,” says Chancellor Leech. “Queen’s is a remarkable university that makes excellence in teaching, research and innovation a priority.”

Chancellor Leech has a long history of service to Queen’s. He’s served on both the University Council and the Board of Trustees, and has occupied a number of advisory roles within the university. In the business world, he has been the CEO of a number of public companies, such as Unicorp Canada Corporation and Union Energy Inc.

From 2007-2013 Chancellor Leech was president and CEO of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. In this position, he oversaw the management of $130 billion in assets, representing 303,000 working and retired teachers. He also recently co-authored the book The Third Rail: Confronting Canada’s Pension Failures, with Jacquie McNish, which won the 2014 National Business Book Award.

“Jim Leech is an alumnus who has worked for decades to give back to the university,” says Daniel Woolf, Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Queen’s will benefit immensely from his extensive experience as a business leader and philanthropist — I personally look forward to working with him in the coming years.”

Along with his business work, Chancellor Leech is also deeply involved in a variety of charitable causes. He was a founding director of Right To Play International, is a member of the of the board of the MasterCard Foundation, a charitable foundation that promotes youth learning, and currently serves as chair of the board of the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation. In 2011, Chancellor Leech was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2014.

Chancellor Leech succeeds David Dodge, who served as chancellor for two three-year terms. Dr. Dodge was recently named chancellor emeritus by University Council.

“Chancellor Emeritus Dodge has provided the university with extraordinary service and has left a lasting impression on the Queen’s community,” says Principal Woolf.