Guy Breton became the eleventh rector of the Université de Montréal in June 2010 and, on February 24, 2014, he was granted a second mandate to begin in June 2015.
A radiologist by training, he has taught at the UdeM Faculty of Medicine since 1979. Dr. Breton has worked in both university administration and the healthcare sector. At UdeM, he has served as director of the Department of Radiology, Radio-Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, executive vice-dean of the Faculty of Medicine and executive vice-rector of the university. At the same time, he held a variety of strategic and operational roles at Saint-Luc Hospital and the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM). He played a decisive role in the CHUM project as vice-president of the Société d’implantation du CHUM (SICHUM) and director of planning for CHUM 2010. He was also behind the creation of several research funds sponsored by the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ). Dr. Breton has also contributed to the collective development of his profession, in particular as chairman of the Association des radiologistes du Québec and the Canadian Heads of Academic Radiology.
In 2009, the French-Canadian Radiology Society (SCFR) awarded Guy Breton the Albert-Jutras Prize for his remarkable career in the hospital and university sectors. The same organization acknowledged his exemplary work by naming him SCFR Personality of the Year for 2011. In 2013, he received an honorary doctorate from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and one from the Université des Technologies de Compiègne. The same year, he was also made « CUPL Honorary Professor » by the China University of Political science and Law (CUPL), and was named Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government. Dr. Breton sits on the boards of directors of many organizations. He has been a member of the Order of Canada since 2014.
Guy Breton assumed his role as the Université de Montréal’s 11th rector on June 1, 2010 and on February 24, 2014, he was granted a second mandate to begin in June 2015.
After graduating with a B.A. from the Séminaire de Saint-Hyacinthe, Dr. Breton obtained an MD in 1974 from the Université de Sherbrooke. He specialized in diagnostic radiology at McGill University, while obtaining additional training in neuroradiology at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. His university career began at the Université de Montréal at the end of the 1970s, when he was hired as an associate clinical professor in the Department of Radiology, Radio-Oncology and Nuclear Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine. In the early 1980s, he also taught at the McGill University-affiliated Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital.
Guy Breton was president of the Association des radiologistes du Québec from 1987 to 1997. In this role, he represented Quebec’s 500 radiologists and negotiated the radiology budget allocated by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux. He also contributed to improving the quality of radiology practices in association with learned societies and the Collège des médecins du Québec. In 1998, he became president of the Canadian Heads of Academic Radiology for two years. From 1983 to 1997, he was the president and CEO of one of the largest private radiology clinics in Québec, where he managed 15 radiologists and more than 20 employees.
By the early 80s, Dr. Breton was involved in the operations and administration of the Hôpital Saint-Luc, and later the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM). His energy and drive led him to become head of the hospital’s radiology department, Director of Planning for CHUM and special advisor to the Chair and CEO of the Board. From 2000 to 2006, he played a key role in the CHUM project, serving as Vice President of SICHUM in the planning of care, services, education, and research, and Director of Planning for CHUM 2010.
His vast experience in strategic and operational management, both in hospitals and private practice, enabled Guy Breton to become Director of the Department of Radiology, Radio-Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at the Université de Montréal in 1996. Responsible for 125 professors, he wasted no time in implementing advances in the areas of education and research. His notable achievements included setting up several research funds sponsored by the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec and creating a joint training program in medical physics with the Department of Physics and the École Polytechnique. In 2003, he was appointed Executive Vice Dean of Post-Doctoral Medical Studies and Hospital Affairs for the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Medicine, and helped establish their integrated university health network (RUIS).
In 2006, Guy Breton was appointed to a senior management position with the Université de Montréal. As Executive Vice Rector, he was responsible for human resources, administration, finances, facilities, information technology systems, security, and pension plans. As president of the budget committee, he spearheaded the budgetary allocation restructuring process. He is also credited with settling the long litigation between the University and the union representing its employees over salary relativity. He took part in reviewing the compensation policy for the University’s senior managers and played a key role in launching an enterprise resource planning software.
On top of his many administrative duties, Guy Breton has managed to continue his teaching, research and outreach activities, in conjunction with his medical responsibilities with patients and students. He is the author or co-author of roughly 100 scientific publications and more than 200 presentations, and has participated in 30 research projects as well as being involved in perfecting a number of minimally invasive imaging and intervention techniques.
Outside his university responsibilities, Guy Breton has sat on the boards for many organizations related to health and higher education, including CHUM, the Fondation du CHUM, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal, Canadian Association of University Business Officers and Québec-Transplant. He was also Chair of the Medical Affairs Committee of the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities (CREPUQ).
In 2009, the Société canadienne-française de radiologie awarded him the Albert-Jutras Prize in recognition of his outstanding career in hospitals and universities. The Université de Sherbrooke, on the occasion of its 15th Gala du rayonnement des diplômées et diplômés in 2010, awarded him the title of Ambassador, acknowledging his exceptional career as a doctor, a professor and an administrator at the CHUM and the Université de Montréal. He was named Personnalité SCFR 2011 by the Société canadienne-française de radiologie, for his significant accomplishments. In 2013, he received an honorary doctorate from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and one from the Université des Technologies de Compiègne. The same year, he was also made « CUPL Honorary Professor » by the China University of Political science and Law (CUPL), and was named Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government. He has been a member of the Order of Canada since 2014.
He is a member of the following board of directors:
- Université de Montréal
- École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC – Montréal)
- École Polytechnique de Montréal
- Institut de la recherche Clinique de Montréal (IRCM)
- Montréal International
- Société du Quartier de la santé de Montréal (SQM)
- Société des célébrations du 375e anniversaire de Montréal (vice-president)
- Royal Society of Canada
He is also a Gouvernor of the Amis de la montagne, gouvernor of the International Economic Forum of the Americas – Conférence de Montréal and Ambassador of La Ligne Bleue.