Daniel Jutras appointed rector of Université de Montréal

Daniel Jutras

Daniel Jutras

Credit: Lysanne Larose

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After a 10-month consultation process, law professor Daniel Jutras is chosen as the new head of the university. He will begin his five-year term on June 1.

The board of directors of Université de Montréal (UdeM) has chosen law professor Daniel Jutras to succeed Guy Breton as rector, starting June 1. The appointment closes a 10-month consultation process in which the university community was actively involved.

“Daniel Jutras impressed the consultation committee and the board with his exceptional communication skills, his inspirational leadership vision and his wide-ranging experience both in academic administration and in philanthropy,” said UdeM chancellor Louis Roquet. “The members of the board decided that his personal and professional skills will make him an outstanding ambassador well-equipped to meet the challenges facing the university.”

“I am honoured by the trust the Board has placed in me,” said Jutras. “UdeM is where I discovered the world of ideas as a student, and where, with the support of exceptional professors, I was able to prepare for a career in academia. I have always kept a deep affection for my alma mater and I am very enthusiastic to be coming back.

“For Montreal, Quebec and Canada, Université de Montréal is truly a cultural, scientific and institutional jewel. During my term as rector, I will devote all my energies to furthering its development and its ambitious mission. UdeM contributes to the well-being of the local and international communities by leading the quest for knowledge in every field. It mobilizes the social and economic forces of these communities, including its own graduates. It inspires young people to excel. It transforms people’s view of the world by promoting innovation and diversity, and it serves as a bulwark against the erosion of truth. It represents a great ideal, and I plan to enthusiastically support the members of the university community who share it.”

Professor Jutras graduated in law from Harvard University and Université de Montréal. For the past 35 years, he has taught in the law faculty of McGill University, where he became a full professor in 2001 and has held the Wainwright Chair in Civil Law since 2010. From 2009 to 2016, he served as dean of the faculty, successfully carrying out a major reform of its teaching programs and conducting a campaign that raised over $35 million. 

In the course of his career, Jutras has served as executive legal officer of the Supreme Court of Canada (personal secretary to the Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada) and has appeared before the Supreme Court as a Friend of the Court on two occasions. He has also served as a federal member of the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Nominations, and he acts as a consultant on judicial ethics for the Canadian Judicial Council.

With his recognized expertise in academic governance, Professor Jutras has served on a number of independent audit committees for top-ranked institutions such as Harvard University, HEC Paris and, in Canada, the faculties of law at the University of Toronto, Dalhousie University and Queen’s University. Recently, in recognition of his contributions to university life, Canadian political life and innovation in teaching, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

As a professor at McGill, Daniel Jutras received an award for excellence in teaching. The Barreau du Québec awarded him its Advocatus emeritus distinction in 2014 and its Mérite award in 2016. He was also awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013.

Professor Jutras will begin his five-year term when Dr. Breton’s term ends on June 1.

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