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Rector stepping down from position

Queen’s Rector Sam Hiemstra has informed university administration that he is stepping down from the position effective May 1, 2021, citing mental health, wellbeing, and academic concerns.

“I have had the immense pleasure to serve in both formal settings with university administration and as a fellow student traversing a year with innumerable obstacles. In my efforts to serve I undoubtedly missed many signs of my mental health struggles and difficulties completing academic work,” he wrote in a letter to the Queen’s community. “It is in the best interest of the future of the office and my own personal wellbeing that this decision is being made and I want to thank you in advance for your support and understanding.”

Hiemstra was elected by students to a two-year term as the university’s 37th rector and officially took up the position on May 1, 2020.

A by-election to elect the next rector will be held in the fall. Further details, including a date for the by-election, will be announced soon.

At Queen’s the rector acts as a liaison between the student body and the administration. Most notably, the rector holds a seat on the Board of Trustees as well as a number of university committees. On top of representing the interests of the student body, the rector also helps individual students by offering confidential student support and helping to facilitate academic grievances.

As the third-highest officer of the university the rector helps officiate convocation ceremonies alongside the chancellor and principal.

Hiemstra’s letter can be read on the Office of the Rector website.