'A Bittersweet Day': UTM honours retiring staff and faculty

Group photo of UTM retirees.
Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 5:27pm
Blake Eligh

Staff and faculty gathered on Tuesday, June 18 to celebrate and bid farewell to retiring colleagues at the annual retirement reception in the Innovation Complex Rotunda.

Thirteen staff and faculty members are retiring from the campus this year, five of whom attended the reception: Nurse Sandra Arch of the Health & Counselling Centre; Associate Professors, Teaching Stream Louis Florence and Joan Kitunen of the Department of Management; Paull Goldsmith, executive director of Facilities, Management & Planning; and Carolyn Moon, manager of finance and operations with Department of Biology. Between them, the retirees in attendance counted more than 136 years of collective service to the university.

“This is a bittersweet day,” said Acting Vice-President & Principal Amrita Daniere, who hosted the event. “We are here to honour our colleagues, but also say good-bye. We express our heartfelt thanks for years of dedicated service, and for helping make this a unique campus and a wonderful university.”

Chief Administrative Officer Saher Fazilat wished outgoing executive director Paull Goldsmith well, noting that he had held positions on all three campuses since joining U of T in 1977. During his time at UTM, Goldsmith led a team of 170 staff members and oversaw the much of the development of the campus, including the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre—the university’s first LEED-certified building—as well as U of T’s first and only geothermal field. Fazilat also read a message from Principal Ulrich Krull, who wrote, "You are a part of the fabric of this campus, and your departure pulls at every thread.”

Dean of Student Affairs Mark Overton lauded nurse Sandra Arch for her “infectious laugh and great attitude” as well as her commitment to health and safety issues. During her 28 years at UTM, Arch treated hundreds of students in the health clinic, and was instrumental in the “Move Your Butt” campaign to move smoking areas away from building entrances.

Management professor Mihkel Tombak noted that finance professor Louis Florence had made the rare decision to leave his role at UTM to found a software company before returning to academic life. “He was engaged in the university environment and wanted to make an impact,” Tombak said, noting that Florence taught core finance programs and was a “bastion of rationality” in his management of undergraduate programs.

Associate Professor Irene Wiecek of the Department of Management celebrated Joan Kitunen, noting that the renowned accounting professor had achieved a lengthy list of accomplishments, both at the university and in the accounting profession, including establishing the accounting specialty program at two U of T campuses and authoring a textbook on accounting and being appointed a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, the highest honour that can be bestowed on a chartered professional accountant. “Joan defines the word ‘remarkable,’” Wiecek said. “She stands out.”

Professor Joel Levine read glowing accolades about Carolyn Moon from former chairs of the biology department, citing Moon’s role as the “core of the department” over her 32 years at UTM. “She grounded the department with grace and humour,” Levine said. “It’s the end of an era.”

Also retiring this year are: Dave Clancy, former director of the Department of Recreation & Athletics; professors Meredyth Daneman and Mary Lou Smith of the Department of Psychology; Professor Stephen Johnson and undergraduate advisor Dianne Robertson of the Department of English & Drama; nurse Sarah Gwynne of the Health & Counselling Centre; assistant director of capital planning and projects Bill Yasui and Eleanor Dennison, a customer service representative in Facilities, Management & Planning.