Robarts integration finalized this month

Institute merges with Schulich

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Robarts Research Institute

Michael Gregoris

Following months of discussion, the integration of Robarts Research Institute with Western has now been finalized.

On June 6, The Robarts Board of Directors voted in favour of the merger, following the prior approval of Western’s Board of Governors. The official integration will take place on July 1.

Robarts has been Canada’s leading independent medical research institute since 1986, with over 600 employees researching various diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

With the merger, Robarts becomes a branch of the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.

In a recent Robarts press release, Robarts Board Chair Phil Bowman said he was pleased to have reached an agreement with Western.

“Thanks to the strong support of both the Dean and the President, we have established an arrangement that enables the scientists to pursue their research priorities within a stable and supportive work environment,” Bowman said.

Discussions of a possible merger began because of ongoing financial problems at Robarts.

On April 10, Robarts announced restructuring decisions in anticipation of the merger, which included the immediate termination of 14 personnel. Five more employees were notified that they face layoff with the finalization of the merger.

According to Carol Herbert, Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, the merger will stabilize Robarts and help the institution grow. There are also significant benefits for Western, as Robarts’ scientific team becomes Western staff.

“[Robarts] is made up of a highly productive group of scientists who are responsible for more than a third of the [Canadian Institutes of Health Research funding] received at Western, are published in the best journals, and have cutting-edge research,” Herbert said.

According to Gitta Kulczycki, Western’s Vice-President of Resources and Operations, the merger will “provide students with opportunities to work with leading scientists who are helping to change our world.”

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