Former UVic president David Turpin announced as new U of A president

This story is courtesy of the The Gateway, the University of Alberta’s student newspaper.

The University of Alberta’s worldwide search for its next president is finally over — David H. Turpin will succeed Indira Samarasekera as the institution’s 13th president.

The long-awaited announcement was made by the university in front of an overcapacity 400-seat Convocation Hall on Friday, Nov. 14.

Turpin, 58, served as the University of Victoria’s sixth president and vice-chancellor for three terms, from July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2013. Before his 13-year tenure as UVic president, Turpin acted as Queen’s University’s Vice-Principal (Academic) from 1995 to 2000 and it’s Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science from 1993 to 1995. Turpin earned his PhD in botany and oceanography from the University of British Columbia in 1980. With his plant biology background, Turpin was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1998. He was also appointed to the Order of Canada in 2010 for his contributions to education.

Turpin will officially take over current U of A President and Vice-Chancellor Indira Samarasekera’s post on July 1, 2015.

Samarasekera will immediately join the University of British Columbia’s Liu Institute for Global Issues as a Distinguished Fellow in Residence after she retires on June 30, 2015 on a sabbatical year paid as per her U of A contract. Samarasekera will return to UBC, where she acted as their Vice-President (Research) in 2000. Samarasekera, who has served at the helm of the U of A since July 1, 2005, was the first female president of any university in Alberta.

The Advisory Search Committee, who was allotted a $300,000 budget, launched an international search for Samarasekera’s successor after she announced that she would not seek a third term as U of A President at the Board of Governors meeting in March earlier this year.

The Advisory Search Committee consisted of BoG Chair Douglas Goss, Chancellor Ralph Young, BoG members Shenaz Jeraj and Dick Wilson, General Faculties Council’s Katherine Binhammer, Jeremy Richards and Duncan Sanders, Deans’ Council’s Lesley Kormack, Chairs’ Council’s Erasmus Okine, Association of Academic Staff’s Kevin Kane, the Students’ Union’s William Lau and Kathryn Orydzuk, Graduate Students’ Association representative Brent Epperson, Non-Academic Staff Association representative Rod Loyola, Alumni Association’s Alfred Sorenson and the Secretary to the Committee Marion Haggerty-France.

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