Ilene Busch-Vishniac

Ilene Busch-Vishniac, ca. 2012

Ilene Busch-Vishniac began her post-secondary career studying piano at the Eastman School of Music while taking classes at the University of Rochester. She soon switched into physics and mathematics for her undergraduate degrees, which she earned in 1976. Ilene went on to earn Master of Science and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ilene’s research career has primarily focused on aspects of acoustics and on diversity issues as they relate to engineering education. She has received many teaching and research awards, including the Curtis McGraw Research Award of the American Society for Engineering Education and the Achievement Award of the Society of Women Engineers. In 1982 Ilene worked as an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Texas in Austin, where she remained for the next 16 years, becoming both endowed chair, and then associate chair. In 1998, Ilene was appointed dean of the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and in 2007 became provost of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. On July 1, 2012, upon finishing her term at McMaster, Ilene became ninth president and vice-chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan. Two years later, in May 2014, “in the wake of an ongoing reputational crisis related to recent decisions” which included the termination of the Executive Director of the School of Public Policy and the resignation of the Provost and Vice-President Academic, the Board of Governors announced the termination, without cause, of Dr. Busch-Vishniac’s appointment as President. It was reported at the time that the Board “feels strongly that the university’s ongoing operations and its reputational rebuilding efforts will be more effective with new leadership.”