Church Point, NS, November 20, 2023 – Allister Surette, President and Vice-Chancellor of Université Sainte-Anne, will end his third term in June 2024. Surette made the announcement to members of the Board of Governors on Saturday.

“I am very proud to have been associated with and to have represented Francophone postsecondary education in Nova Scotia for 25 years. I thank the staff and faculty, the students, and the Francophone and Acadian community, who can also be proud of having contributed together to the growth of Université Sainte-Anne.”

- Allister Surette, President and Vice-Chancellor

From 1998 to 2003, Surette was president and CEO of the Collège de l'Acadie. Since 2000, he has played a key role in the development of Université Sainte-Anne, a Francophone postsecondary institution resulting from the merger of the former Université Sainte-Anne and Collège de l'Acadie. In 2003, he was appointed Vice-Rector of Development and Partnerships at Université Sainte-Anne, a position he held until his appointment as President and Vice-Chancellor in 2011.

Under Surette's leadership, Université Sainte-Anne has made significant progress. Two major fundraising campaigns raised more than $10 million each. Several buildings on the Church Point campus have been renovated, including the Marcel-R.-Comeau Sports Centre, the Gustave-Blanche Building, the Louis-R.-Comeau Library, and the recent addition of the track and soccer field. Having welcomed a record-setting number of students in 2019, the school is now recognized as a leader in research in a number of fields, benefiting from increased awareness and visibility. More recently, concrete actions have been taken in response to the new Institutional Strategy for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, such as increasing the number of women in senior administration and departmental leadership.

Nevertheless, the university faced some major challenges, the first being the merger of the Collège de l'Acadie and the Université Sainte-Anne, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which was one of the greatest challenges in the history of the institution. It succeeded thanks to the tireless efforts of its staff.

Surette has developed strong ties with the Acadian and Francophone communities in Nova Scotia, particularly during the consultation and development processes for his last three strategic plans; the first at Collège de l'Acadie and the last two at Université Sainte-Anne.

“I am grateful for all the work Mr. Surette has accomplished and the leadership he has shown, not only in education, but also at the community level.”

- Michel Samson, Chairman of the Board of Governors

Not only has he shown great leadership at Université Sainte-Anne, he has also served as president of the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU), the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents (CONSUP), the Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne (ACUFC) and the Réseau des cégeps et des collèges francophones du Canada (RCCFC). At the community level, he has served as president of the Conseil de développement économique de la N.-É. (CDENE), the Western Regional Enterprise Network (WREN), the Canadian Foundation for Cross Cultural Dialogue, for CMA 2004 and 2024, and for UNESCO - Grand-Pré.

“The current situation of the institution is favourable and that the time is right for my departure. The financial situation is stable and it's time for a new strategic plan. It's someone else's turn to take over.”

- Allister Surette

A hiring committee of the Board of Governors will oversee the process of finding Surette's successor.

About Université Sainte-Anne

Université Sainte-Anne, the only Francophone university in Nova Scotia, offers university and college programs, as well as immersion and customized training programs in French as a second language. Recognized for the excellence of its programs and its unique and exceptional living environment, it offers experiential learning opportunities that foster student engagement and success, and a context conducive to the establishment of a culture of excellence in research and development. Firmly rooted in its community, it is a partner of choice for enhancing the vitality of the regions surrounding its campuses, and Acadie in Nova Scotia as a whole.

For Further Information       

Rachelle LeBlanc, Director of Communications and Marketing
Université Sainte-Anne
Tel: 902-769-2114, ext. 7222
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Only some of our news updates are published in English.

To see all our news, visit the Actualités page.