Ilene Busch-Vishniac

Ilene Busch-Vishniac is an American-born mechanical engineer and university administrator. She served as Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University from 1998 to 2003.[1] then resigned the position to serve as President of the Acoustical Society of America, an elected non-gratis position, from 2003 to 2005.[2] She served as Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at McMaster University from 2007 to 2012, and as President of the University of Saskatchewan from 2012 to 2014 when she was terminated.[3] She has written research papers for the ASME on matters related to tribology.

Ilene Busch-Vishniac
9th President of the University of Saskatchewan
In office
July 1, 2012 (2012-07-01) – May 21, 2014 (2014-05-21)
ChancellorVera Pezer
Blaine Favel
Preceded byPeter MacKinnon
Succeeded byGordon Barnhart (interim)
Personal details
BornPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Spouse(s)Ethan Vishniac
Alma materUniversity of Rochester
Scientific career
FieldsAcoustic engineering
ThesisSound generation from impacted paper (1981)

Busch-Vishniac received her bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics (magna cum laude) from the University of Rochester in 1976. She then received her master's degree in 1978 and her PhD in 1981, both in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[4][5]

University of SaskatchewanEdit

In December 2011, Busch-Vishniac was selected as the ninth President of the University of Saskatchewan, replacing Peter MacKinnon with effect from July 2012.[6] On May 21, 2014, she was "terminated without cause" from her position amid national criticism surrounding the Provost's decision, Brett Fairbairn, to dismiss and end the tenure of an executive director who had openly criticized the university's leadership while Busch-Vishniac was away.[7][8] Busch-Vishniac criticized the decision the next day, and invited the former executive director to return as a professor.[9] In June, 2015, Busch-Vishniac filed a lawsuit over her firing seeking $8.5 million in damages, naming Saskatchewan Premier, Brad Wall, former Minister of Advanced Education, Rob Norris, as well as the university and Board of Governors and alleging that both the Premier and former Minister unlawfully influenced the Board's decision in her firing.[10] The University is also accused of violating its bylaws when it terminated her contract.[11] As of 2019, the lawsuit is ongoing.[12]

Awards and honorsEdit

Busch-Vishniac received the ASA Silver Medal in Engineering Acoustics in 2001 for her work in developing novel electret microphones and of precision micro-electro-mechanical sensors and positioners. She was elected a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) in 1987, and also received the ASA R. Bruce Lindsay Award.[4]


  1. ^ [1] Retrieved on 2014-06-14
  2. ^ [Curriculum vitae:] Retrieved 2014-06-14
  3. ^ "Office of the President: About Ilene", retrieved 22 May 2014
  4. ^ a b "Ilene J. Busch-Vishniac". Women In Acoustics. Acoustical Society of America. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  5. ^ Busch-Vishniac, Ilene Joy (1981). Sound generation from impacted paper (Ph.D. thesis). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. OCLC 8048222 – via ProQuest.
  6. ^ "Ilene Busch-Vishniac Named Ninth President of the University of Saskatchewan" Retrieved on 2012-01-02
  7. ^ "University of Saskatchewan Board Fires President Ilene Busch-Vishniac" Retrieved on 2014-05-22
  8. ^ Globe and Mail: "Academic Freedom? It’s Not Just an Academic Argument" (editorial) 20 May 2014
  9. ^ Hill, Andrea. "Firing of outspoken prof did not violate University of Saskatchewan Act: board". Retrieved 2016-04-27.
  10. ^ Rockliffe, Amber. "Employment law expert weighs in on Busch-Vishniac lawsuit". Global News. Retrieved 2016-04-27.
  11. ^ "Former U of S president Busch-Vishniac sues over dismissal". Retrieved 2016-04-27.
  12. ^ Hill, Andrea (24 May 2019). "Former U of S president's lawsuit allowed to proceed; Busch-Vishniac ordered to put money in trust to dissuade concerns of defendants". The StarPhoenix. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Peter MacKinnon
President of the University of Saskatchewan
Succeeded by
Gordon Barnhart (interim)