Gilles Boulet

Founding President of the IOHE and Promulgator of International University Collaboration

The history of the IOHE could not have been written without recognizing the fundamental contribution of its founder, Gilles Boulet.

It was in the 1960s when Gilles Boulet began to reflect upon the teaching of Latin American civilizations. Later, in 1978, his interest transpired into a more concrete aspiration, i.e. when he was appointed President of the University of Quebec.

I had observed a lack of knowledge and a deplorable lack of collaborative linkages between universities in South and North America

he explained.

There existed great potential for exchange between the institutions that belonged to the same continent. What’s more, there were not any organizations that managed these institutions as a collective group”

he observed.

I therefore believed that the solution could lie in the creation of such an institution

A series of meetings confirmed Gilles Boulet’s vision. The speakers at the meetings expressed immense enthusiasm about creating an organism that would respond to these needs, namely the development of a convergence space among universities in the Americas.

With the support of university leaders, Gilles Boulet decided to take the first major steps in making this become a reality. In 1979, the organisation that would unite higher education institutions in the Americas was founded, i.e. thanks to the concerted efforts of representatives from universities in Latin America, North America and Canada. During the opening congress, which was held in 1980, Gilles Boulet uttered a statement that was repeated throughout his ten year mandate:

I desire to establish an Inter-American chain of universities, which transcends all physical boundaries and jointly works to improve and strengthen each of its linkages

Under the motivating leadership of its founding President, the IOHE has always geared its activities around the same theme- something which Gilles Boulet summarized with the following words:

The action of the organism rests upon the vision of the true role of the university, which is, in fact, a social role. There exists in each community, in each nation, and in each country, an indispensable engine for social improvement, and this engine is the university. Furthermore, the university functions as a service to the community, and owes, by virtue of this fact, its existence to the public. Thanks to its activities geared towards the higher education institutions, the IOHE contributes to leading its people towards political, social and economic freedom

Gilles Boulet held the position of President of the IOHE until October 1989. His commitment to the IOHE continued for many years after this, for example, by carrying out special projects for the organization. Although Gilles Boulet passed away in 1997, his vision continues to inspire the organization.

Presidents of the IOHE since 1980

Garrido1
2017-2019

Óscar Garrido, Universidad de Los Lagos, Chile

Allan Cahoon 2014-2015
2015-2017

Allan Cahoon, Royal Roads University, Canada

Bustamante Diez Y (2)

2013-2014

Yoloxóchilt Bustamante Diez, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico

Marcial-Rubio-2011-2013-300x199
2011-2013

Marcial Rubio, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Peru

RaulArias-2009-2011
2009-2011

Raul Arias Lovillo, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico

LUIS-MIGUEL-2007-2009
2007-2009

Luis Miguel Romero Fernández, Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Ecuador

gerson_dasilveira-2005-2007
2005-2007

Gerson Luiz Joner da Silveira, Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina, Brazil

Victor-Arredondo-2003-2005
2003-2005

Víctor A. Arredondo, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico

Freddy-Malpica-1999-2003
1999-2003

Freddy Malpica Pérez, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Venezuela

juan-carlos-romero-hicks-1997-1999
1997-1999

Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico

Luis-Garita-Bonilla-1993-1997
1993-1997

Luis Garita Bonilla, Universidad de Costa Rica, Costa Rica

Lauro-Ribas-Zimmer-1989-1993
1989-1993

Lauro Ribas Zimmer, Universidade para o Desenvolvimento do Estado de Santa Catarina and Universidade Estácio de Sá, Brazil

Gilles-Boulet-1980-1989
1980-1989

Gilles Boulet (founding president), Université du Québec, Canada