Richard Florizone leaving Dalhousie for quantum super-position

University president announces his resignation to go work for non-profit research lab.

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Richard Florizone is leaving Dalhousie for a “once in a lifetime” opportunity in quantum computing.

The university president's resignation was announced Monday in a memo from the school's Board of Governors.

Board chair Lawrence Stordy writes that the news comes “with mixed emotion.” 

“We have benefitted greatly from his leadership and vision these past five years,” says Stordy about Florizone. “We are saddened to see him leave, yet we share his enthusiasm as he embarks on an exciting, ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to lead the new Quantum Valley Ideas Lab, based in Waterloo, Ontario which will benefit all of Canada.”

A former board member for the Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology with a PhD in physics from MIT, Florizone will be helping QVIB in its mission to develop quantum computer technology.

Florizone has been serving as Dalhousie’s 11th president since 2013. Previously, he was vice-president at the University of Saskatchewan, before working in Washington D.C. as a senior advisor to the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation.

Over his five years as head of the province's largest university, Florizone helped the school secure several high-level research grants like the 2016 Ocean Frontier Institute, renovated buildings like Dalplex and the Sexton campus and oversaw Dal's 200th-anniversary celebration.

But Florizone's tenure has also been criticized by students for the school's steadily increasing tuition fees and lack of interest in fossil fuel divestment. Likewise, the president has found himself in the spotlight several times as Dalhousie faced national scrutiny for everything from the DDS Class of 2015 Gentlemen dentistry scandal to the vitriol directed at student Masuma Khan.

The outgoing-president will remain at Dalhousie until January. No word yet on when a search committee will be struck to find his replacement.

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