For many students at the University of Saskatchewan, President Peter Stoicheff is a distant and unapproachable figure who works in a hidden office on mysterious tasks. According to Stoicheff himself, the president is responsible for the well-being and the sustainability of the whole institution. That’s fair enough, but what exactly does the president do in a day? Luckily, on Sept. 13, I was able to slip behind the scenes and spend a day shadowing Stoicheff to better understand his work and his life off campus. The following is a true account of events — barring artistic embellishment.
Once a month, the president has breakfast at the University Club with the vice-presidents and the chairs of University Council to informally discuss what is most important to each of them in regards to the U of S. The council often chooses a particular topic for discussion ahead of time and the meeting gives them the opportunity to ask questions about happenings at the university and receive candid responses from the president.
The president’s office, located in the Peter MacKinnon Building, is full of art hand-picked from the University Art Collection by Stoicheff himself.
One art piece holds a place of honour in Stoicheff’s office.
The office also features Stoicheff’s guitar, as his original dream was to become a classical guitarist and not a university president. Check out his album, Ethereal Steel, on iTunes.
Throughout the day, Stoicheff often has last minute meetings with faculty and staff, including this meeting with Patti McDougall, vice-provost teaching and learning. McDougall frequently meets with Stoicheff to brief him on any student matters that he should know about so that he is never taken off-guard.
After meeting with McDougall, Stoicheff heads to Convocation Hall to announce the new Huskie Athletics board of trustees, a change that will broaden governance of the athletics program from the College of Kinesiology out to the university level. For those curious parties, Huskie suit jackets are available from the U of S Bookstore.
For lunch, Stoicheff attends University Council Orientation at Marquis Hall to give a welcoming speech to new members of council. University Council is a body of 105 members, including the president, the provost, librarians and elected faculty and students, responsible for academic oversight and affairs. Council deals with everything from degrees, scholarships and programs to evaluation, academic integrity and admission. The USSU executive are members of the council and Stoicheff joined them for the meal.
After lunch with the USSU executive, Stoicheff delivers his welcome speech, explaining that the U of S is a collegial organization that strives to achieve common goals shared by administrators, faculty, staff, and students alike. When the speech is complete, Stoicheff has more meetings, such as a discussion with the interim provost and vice-president academic, Ernie Barber, who makes sure that the university’s resources and priorities are aligned. The afternoon also features a phone meeting with the deputy minister of advanced education, Louise Greenberg.
After walking to the Education Building, Stoicheff is prepared for the filming of his part in the university’s sexual assault campaign, REACT.
Once the make-up artist is finished, the film director briefs Stoicheff on his lines. When he is ready, the filming begins.
After the filming, Stoicheff has professional photos taken for the sexual assault campaign. Once the photos are taken, Stoicheff and the photographer look through them together.
In a fleeting moment of relaxation, Stoicheff contemplates his role at the university, reminding himself why it is important.
After a long day in the office, Stoicheff de-stresses at the PAC.
Stoicheff and Kathryn Warden, his wife and director of research profile and impact at the U of S, frequently make dinner together.
Jessica Klaassen-Wright / News Editor
Graphics: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor