Lorna Marsden, who retires as president of York University this month, originally didn’t want to get into administration.

“I got bullied into it, people saying, ‘You have to chair the department.’ I fell into the trap,” she says with a laugh.

Marsden, a sociologist, followed in the footsteps of Susan Mann, York’s first woman president.


Her tenure at York has been tumultuous, including a staff strike and land development controversies. She earned kudos for expanding the school’s student body and academic reputation. Getting the subway extended to this campus on the northern extreme of the city was icing on the cake.