Statement from AU President Dr. Peter Scott on new provincial agreement
The following is a statement from Athabasca University (AU) President Dr. Peter Scott following the Nov. 30 special board meeting:
As Canada’s only open and online university, Athabasca University (AU) has been empowering students of all ages and backgrounds to pursue post-secondary education for more than 50 years. We believe that learning should be accessible, inclusive, and flexible and we specialize in helping remote and rural learners access high-quality advanced learning without leaving their communities.
At AU, we also strive to innovate in everything we do, from digital-first research that’s recognized around the world to personalized learning experiences that set up our learners for success.
As announced by the Minister of Advanced Education last evening, I am pleased to share with you that the AU Board of Governors has endorsed an investment management agreement with the provincial government that removes the threat of forced relocation of AU team members, creates financial stability, and gives us the ability to continue to work near-virtually, which will help AU compete for talent. The agreement also safeguards AU’s original mission and vision statements, which were developed in consultation with our university community and previously approved by our General Faculties Council and Board of Governors.
The Minister of Advanced Education asked AU to submit a plan to significantly increase its physical presence in Athabasca earlier this year. We were pleased to work with our community to develop and present a comprehensive and balanced plan to create an exciting research hub in northern Alberta, to benefit the Athabasca region and support the government’s Alberta 2030 strategy. We look forward to continuing to work with the Minister to refine this ambitious plan to realize a wealth of benefit for our community of Athabasca as well as our learners and researchers.
Byron Nelson, the chair of AU’s Board of Governors, thanked the minister for working closely with our community to reach a resolution: “On behalf of the board, I am pleased to have this agreement in place as it ensures continued stable funding from the Government of Alberta for AU to serve our learners and the community.”
Dr. Peter Scott