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Terry Falconer remembered by U of M community

Flag at half-mast in honour of former VP of administration

October 15, 2015 — 

Surrounded by family at his home Terry Falconer, former University of Manitoba vice-president (administration), passed away on October 9, 2015 at the age of 73 after a courageous battle with cancer.

“I am saddened to learn of the death of Terry Falconer,” said President and Vice-Chancellor David Barnard. “Terry is held in the highest esteem by those with whom he worked, and will be remembered for his years of dedicated service to the University of Manitoba. A consummate professional, he is known not only for his work to develop our University’s places, spaces and services – but also for his exceptional commitment to developing the skills and talent of its people. On behalf of the university community, I offer his family my sincere condolences.”

Falconer’s 32-year career at the U of M began in 1966. He held a number of positions, culminating in his appointment as vice-president of administration for the last 12 years of his career.

Joanne Keselman, vice-president (academic) and provost, grew close to Falconer when she joined senior administration of the university as associate vice-president (research) in the early 1990s. “Even though I did not work directly for him, he quickly became a mentor to me and my ‘go to’ person for guidance and support,” remembers Keselman.

“As VP Admin, he expertly managed the University’s finances through a very difficult decade of fiscal restraint, often having to make difficult decisions but always acting in the best interests of the university,” says Keselman. “He took great pride in and was strongly committed to his staff, recognizing their talents and providing them with opportunities for growth and advancement. He was widely respected across the university for his professionalism, expertise and dedication to the university, and made many lifelong friendships here that continued through his retirement years.”

Falconer also served for many years as the chair of the board of the Winnipeg Rh Institute Foundation. Juliette (Archie) Cooper, professor emeritus and current chair of the foundation remembers Terry Falconer as “tough, but fair,” and always willing to “talk it through” when difficult decisions had to be made.

“[As chair of the board] Terry was ever-mindful of the history of the Winnipeg Rh Institute and ensured that grants from the Foundation were consistent with the vision and wishes of Dr. Jack Bowman,” says Cooper. “It was a daunting task to take over as Chair, but Terry ensured that I knew who to contact, what to do and when to do it – his counsel and support were freely given. The University of Manitoba has lost a friend and supporter – he will be missed.”

When Falconer stepped down as chair of the board of the foundation in October 2014 the board recognized his many years of service by naming him Chair Emeritus.

In his work and dedication to the university Terry Falconer had a lasting impact on students, staff and faculty. Jeff Leclerc, university secretary, was serving as a student senator when he first met Falconer. “I always remember how well prepared he was in places like Senate and in public meetings – he sure knew his stuff,” says Leclerc.

When he joined the administration of the university Jeff Leclerc had the opportunity to get to know Falconer better. “He committed his professional life to the University of Manitoba and left it a better place,” says Leclerc. “His legacy is in the people he inspired – I for one am grateful to Terry for the leaders that he mentored, who in turn mentored me and other colleagues.”

The administration building flag will be at half-mast on Friday, October 16, 2015 in honour of Terry Falconer. A celebration of life will be held at 2:30 PM on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at Chapel Lawn Funeral Home, 4000 Portage Avenue.

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