Member, Board of Governors
2011 – 2014. Concordia University of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Concordia University of Edmonton (formerly Concordia University College) was founded in 1921 by the Lutheran Church. I was invited to serve on the Board of Governors as a community member. During my tenure, one of the Board’s achievements was for Concordia to gain university status in 2014. In fact, 2011-2014 were pivotal years leading to a total re-focusing of Concordia. The religious studies programs had been shrinking dramatically and Concordia worked hard to diversify and built a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in the Sciences, Arts, and Social Sciences. Edmonton is located south of major Indigenous communities in northern Alberta. Concordia provides small class sizes, exceptional academic support, and large student residences with space for most of its students to live on campus in a supportive and safe environment. These factors attracted a significant number of Indigenous students from remote northern communities to attend Concordia for their university education. Indigenous youth are now the fastest growing demographic in Canada. Concordia is a unique position to serve this growing population. Against strong resistance from the church establishment, the Board voted unanimously (with abstentions from all clergy members of the Board) to become a non-denominational university by fall 2015. The new mandate for the university is to provide a supportive environment for all groups, in particular Indigenous youth, to obtain a high quality university education.