Leadership College Proposal a Missed Opportunity

News Staff - Mon Nov 04, 2013

(Edmonton, AB) – In the midst of massive and unprecedented budget cuts that have already caused the University of Alberta to announce professor severances and fewer students, students are concerned that a leadership college proposal is moving forward that appears elitist and fails to take into account the requirements of the broader student population at the U of A.

In response, the SU has released a discussion paper (attached) on the Lougheed Leadership Initiative that will spark discussion on how to ensure all 32,000 U of A graduates — and not just 144 — emerge from the institution as leaders.

“I’m hearing that many students are deeply concerned over this proposal, and how it conflicts with the U of A’s promise of Uplifting the whole people,” said Vice President Academic Dustin Chelen.

“The 144-person leadership college needs to engage a significantly larger portion of the student body, and should be focused from the outset on benefiting the wider campus community,” said Chelen, referencing currently existing and still underfunded leadership development programs at the U of A like Community Service Learning, the Undergraduate Research Initiative, and the Emerging Leaders Program.

Chelen has heard negative feedback from the University of Alberta’s Students’ Council about the proposed initiative, as well as from many students who have made their concerns known over social media. Chelen noted that concerns revolve around how the current leadership college proposal is moving forward, and not with the general idea of a Lougheed Leadership initiative, which has been met with broad support.

Students are grateful for the support of the Lougheed family in promoting leadership at the U of A. As a former President of the University of Alberta Students’ Union, Lougheed will be remembered for fighting for post secondary education as key to a successful province.

The SU is currently consulting with students and administration as this project moves forward and hopes that the proposal will develop into an initiative that will allow all students at the U of A to have an opportunity to improve their leadership capabilities.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236

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