François Tavenas, 1942-2004


It is with sadness that the McGill community notes the passing of François Tavenas, former Vice-Principal (Planning and Resources), 1989-1997. A noted scholar, Tavenas had a long and distinguished career as a professor and administrator in post-secondary education. He died suddenly in his sleep, February 13, in Luxembourg, at the age of 61. Born in Bourg-de-Péage in France, Tavenas held a degree in civil engineering from the Institut national des sciences appliquées of Lyon and a doctorate in geotechnics from the University of Grenoble.

As Vice-Principal, Tavenas was responsible for the completion of the Wong Building, the state-of-the-art facility that is home to the Department of Chemical Engineering, the McGill Metals Processing Centre, the Department of Mining, Metals and Materials Engineering, and the Plasma Technology Research Centre.

Tavenas left McGill to become rector of Université Laval, and last year was appointed the founding rector of the Université du Luxembourg. The institution is a first for the European duchy (population 400,000), and Tavenas was given the responsibility of creating a university from the ground up.

Funeral services will take place in Luxembourg on Tuesday, February 17. Friends and colleagues of Tavenas are invited to join members of his family for a commemorative service to be held February 20, 3:00 pm, at the Théâtre de la cité universitaire, pavillon Palasis-Prince, Université Laval. Expressions of sympathy can be made by email: actavenas [at], or by post to 2, place de France, L-1538 Luxembourg, Grand-Duché du Luxembourg.