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Frequently asked questions

Standing Strong Task Force

The Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force was appointed by President Lachemi in November 2020 to conduct a necessary exploration into both our namesake’s life and legacy and the role of commemoration in our University community.

The University is grateful for the work of the Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force who worked diligently over 10 months (from November 2020 - August 2021) to provide clear recommendations on how the university can move forward and create the next chapter in our history. 

The Task Force’s report has 22 recommendations, including the recommendation for the University to rename the institution. Other recommendations are to share materials to recognize the legacy of Egerton Ryerson, and provide opportunities for learning about Indigenous history and Indigenous and colonial relations, plus much more.

Everyone is encouraged to read the full report.

The University’s Board of Governors has accepted all Task Force recommendations.

One of the recommendations is for the university to develop an action plan to address and implement all of the Task Force’s recommendations. This action plan will be shared with the community by January 31, 2022.

An implementation process will be established to ensure that this work is carried out as quickly and transparently as possible.

Name change

The decision to change the name of the school was informed by the Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force’s recommendations following their process which included broad community engagement and extensive research.

It is our hope that while this process has been difficult for some, most will recognize it for what it is: the right decision, and an important step forward in our commitment toward reconciliation and in upholding the University’s values and commitments toward Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

The institution we currently call Ryerson University has had four names since it was founded in 1948 as the Ryerson Institute of Technology. Each name change reflected both the institution’s evolving roles in society and its aspirations for the future. 

This decision is about recognizing the harm caused to community members by the commemoration of Egerton Ryerson. As we work to advance reconciliation and uphold our institutional values, the University can no longer continue honouring our namesake.

The Task Force’s recommendation is that the University undertake a process that engages with community members and university stakeholders to rename the institution.

An Advisory Committee has been appointed to help guide the process of identifying a new name for the university. This group will be establishing the process and timeline by which we will arrive at a new name for the institution.

More information will be made available on this in the coming weeks.

The university acknowledges the need to rename the institution and will make sure the process is approached in a community-informed and meaningful way.

For now, we will continue on as “Ryerson University” until a new name can be chosen. However, in recognition of the harm the current university name causes members of our community, we are limiting the use of the name where possible and have posted acknowledgements to the coming name change on our websites, social media profiles and digital publications, and with signage throughout the campus.

Our objective is to have a new name announced by the end of this 21/22 academic year. 

For now, we will continue on as “Ryerson University” until a new name can be chosen. However, in recognition of the harm the current university name causes members of our community, the University is taking immediate steps to no longer commemorate Egerton Ryerson, and will post an acknowledgement to the coming name change on our websites and with signage throughout the campus.

No. The university acknowledges the need to make a change in the naming of our institution and our efforts will be focussed on that goal.

It is our hope that a new name will be announced by the end of this 21/22 academic year.

For now, the University will continue on as “Ryerson University” until a new name can be chosen and it is still correct to refer to the university by this name. If you would like to reference the renaming in communications, please use this format: 

Ryerson University (renaming in process)

For more information, please review these resources.

The university is not rebranding. While we are changing the name to better reflect our values and aspirations, the university’s mission, vision and visual identity will remain in place. By retaining our colour palette, fonts, and graphic devices, we hope to maintain continuity and recognizability as we select a name befitting of our identity – both now and in the future. 

Most university names fall into one or more broad categories relating to: 

  • place, location, environmental feature (example: University of Ottawa; Lakehead University) 
  • a notable person (example: Nelson Mandela University) 
  • mission, vision or characters (example: The New School) 

While these are the most common naming conventions across post-secondary institutions, and a good starting point for considering new names, we are not limiting ourselves to these categories.

All name ideas that were submitted through the Standing Strong Task Force survey or through email (standingstrong@ryerson.ca, nextchapter@ryerson.ca renaming@ryerson.ca ) have been recorded and will be considered by the committee. 

Please note that by submitting a name, Ryerson University may freely utilize any suggestions, ideas or advice provided by you through the survey, including any potential name(s) for the University that you may put forward for consideration, without any further obligation to you.

No. The renaming process will include wide community engagement to hone in on the categories and themes that could be explored for name suggestions. The University Renaming Advisory Committee will go through a process to filter the names down to a short list.  

The committee will submit a shortlist of potential names to the university president and Board of Governors for a final decision by the end of the 2021/2022 academic year.

Some ask why the renaming process is moving so fast while others ask why the name hasn’t already been changed. The university needs to balance the time necessary for robust community engagement in the renaming process with the responsibility that exists to move away from a name that has caused harm in a timely manner.

History cannot be changed but we can change things for the future. By ceasing commemoration of Egerton Ryerson and changing our name we can better align with our institutional values. The university will continue to embrace our institutional history - Ryerson University will alway be a part of who we are. 

The university also recognizes the responsibility to educate community members about the PDF filelife and legacy of Egerton Ryerson, Indigenous history, and Indigenous and colonial relations. An action plan will be shared with the community by January 31, 2022.

Degrees

Absolutely! Your hard-earned degree remains an accomplishment to celebrate and a credential worthy of promotion. The changing of the name of the unviersity does not change your experience. For the last 73 years, the faculty and staff at the university have worked hard to provide an exceptional educational experience for students. The university's programs and graduates are recognized internationally for their innovative and career-ready approach. Potential employers will continue to recognize your degree for what it says about your skills, training and expertise, regardless of the name change. 

The institution we currently call Ryerson University has had four names since it was founded in 1948 as the Ryerson Institute of Technology. Each name change reflected both the institution's evolving roles in society and its aspirations for the future. 

While the name of the university is changing, your hard work and dedication to your degree will not change. The values and mission of the university remain the same; the renaming is just another step in our history. 

After the renaming process, Alumni will have the opportunity to request a new parchment through a yet-to-be-determined process. 

Following the decision of a new name, the university will await the amendment to the Ryerson Act to (re)issue parchments reflecting the new name, so they will not be available immediately. 

The university will provide updates to community members when new information is available.

To share comments or questions, please email nextchapter@ryerson.ca

For media inquiries please contact the university's media relations team