Skip to main content

David Turpin, former president of the University of Victoria, has been appointed as the new president of the University of Alberta.

UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA

David Turpin, a seasoned postsecondary administrator with experience across the country, is the new president of the University of Alberta.

Dr. Turpin was president of the University of Victoria for more than a decade until 2013 and served as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont. He suceeds Indira Samarasekera, who led the institution through a decade in which the student population grew by 10,000. The new president takes the position at a challenging time, facing funding issues, academic transformation and global competition for students and faculty.

"This is a remarkable time for the university. We are located in the province that is driving the social, cultural and economic prosperity of Canada and there is a sense in this province that there is an opportunity to lead nationally and internationally. One of the most important things to achieve those goals is an outstanding internationally recognized university," Dr. Turpin said in an interview.

Story continues below advertisement

An international search was conducted for the new president and hundreds of applications were received, which the search committee whittled down over the past year, said Doug Goss, chair of the university's Board of Governors.

Externally and internally, the university faces pressures. In the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the University of Alberta dropped 15 spots to 124 from its position last year. "Rankings force us to be self-critical and self-reflective," Dr. Turpin said. "The most important thing for us to do is to hold ourselves to the highest standards of international excellence."

Internally, many departments are on a hunt for new sources and forms of revenue. Earlier this fall, the university submitted proposals to the province to increase tuition above the inflation cap imposed by the province in three programs, the maximum allowed by provincial legislation.

The faculties of law, pharmacy and business are asking the government to approve "market modifiers" that would bring their fees in line with the cost of these programs at other Canadian institutions and would increase bills for students by more than 50 per cent in some cases.

Don Scott, the minister responsible for postsecondary education, was expected to reveal which proposals had been approved on Monday, but the ministry extended that timeline this week.

Dr. Turpin said that regardless of how the market modifier debate is resolved, he will ensure that education remains accessible for students.

Dr. Turpin has a PhD in botany and oceanography from the University of British Columbia, where he also completed his bachelor of science in cell biology in 1977. He attended elementary school in Calgary and his great-grandfather was an Alberta rancher.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter