African International Student alumni secures top position at University of Toronto

Wisdom Tettey, University of Toronto vice-president and principal of U of T Scarborough, has been named the next president and vice-chancellor of Carleton University.

A scholar of African politics, media and diaspora, Tettey will assume the leadership position at Carleton on Jan. 1, 2025.

U of T President Meric Gertler congratulated Tettey on his new role.

“Professor Tettey has been a truly transformative leader for the University of Toronto,” he said. “Under his stewardship, U of T Scarborough has flourished as a hub of inclusive excellence and a model for sustainable campus growth.

“We are grateful for his contributions and wish him well in this next chapter.”

Tettey joined U of T as vice-president and principal of U of T Scarborough in 2018 after serving as dean of arts and sciences at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus. After leading U of T Scarborough through the COVID-19 pandemic, Tettey was re-appointed to the role for a second five year term that began in 2023.

A professor of political science and development studies, Tettey’s many achievements as vice-president and principal included the launch of a five-year strategic plan, Inspiring Inclusive Excellence, that consolidated U of T Scarborough’s reputation for drawing on diverse perspectives to enrich higher education and strengthen responses to pressing societal challenges, as well as an extensive curriculum review that prioritized centering Indigenous, Black and international perspectives.

Tettey also championed the creation and adoption of the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Higher Education, a commitment by Canadian post-secondary institutions to recognize the impact of anti-Black racism and foster Black inclusion, and played a key role in strengthening U of T’s ties with post-secondary institutions in Africa.

The U of T Scarborough campus undertook several marquee projects during Tettey’s tenure. They include: Harmony Commons student residence, Indigenous House, the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH), and Earth District. The campus also secured a landmark $25-million donation from Scarborough-based business leader Sam Ibrahim towards the creation of the Sam Ibrahim Centre for Inclusive Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership.

“It is with mixed feelings that I announce my departure from the University of Toronto,” Tettey said. “I would like to thank the entire university community for their support, particularly the students, staff, faculty and librarians at U of T Scarborough, who have never ceased to amaze me with their dedication to the cause of higher education.

“I will leave with an enormous sense of pride in everything we have achieved together.”

Tettey is currently on administrative leave from U of T, with Professor Linda Johnston serving as acting U of T vice-president and principal of U of T Scarborough. U of T plans to share further information about interim leadership and succession plans in the coming weeks.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Tettey to Carleton,” said Greg Farrell, chair of Carleton University’s Board of Governors. “Dr. Tettey is an inclusive and authentic leader who will build on the university’s reputation for teaching, learning and research excellence. He impressed the advisory committee with an ambitious vision of Carleton as a top-tier university on both a national and international scale.”

Born in Ghana, Tettey completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Ghana before coming to Canada to earn a master’s degree at UBC and a PhD at Queen’s University.

During his installation speech at U of T Scarborough in 2019, Tettey reflected on how his upbringing in Ghana influenced his strong belief in education and collaboration to achieving individual and collective growth.

“I grew up in a low-income, pluricultural neighborhood of the national capital [Accra], where diversity, marginalization and community converged,” he said.

“I saw excellence in the midst of deprivation. I saw good emerge when communities are motivated by common purpose, mutual commitment to that purpose, and belief in one another to accomplish it.”


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