April 30, 2018

Community leader and Calgary journalist Deborah Yedlin selected as University of Calgary chancellor

New chancellor to build and sustain strong connections in the community
University of Calgary's new chancellor: Community leader and Calgary journalist Deborah Yedlin.

Community leader and Calgary journalist Deborah Yedlin.

Community leader and Calgary journalist Deborah Yedlin has been named the University of Calgary’s 14th chancellor.

Members of UCalgary’s Senate selected Yedlin to the position on April 26, and her four-year term as chair of Senate and ambassador for UCalgary will begin on July 1.

Yedlin has been observing, commenting and writing about the nexus of business and politics for more than two decades, as a journalist for the Financial Post, Globe and Mail and Calgary Herald newspapers.  In addition to her writing, she has been a regular commentator on these matters for CBC Radio and Television, and CTV since 1996.

“Universities play a critical role in bringing people together, especially in a dynamic, business-driven city like Calgary. I grew up in a home that valued education and am looking forward to fostering the connections between the University of Calgary and the community at large," said Yedlin.

“As someone deeply committed to the importance of education in society, I am honoured to have been selected as the chancellor of the University of Calgary, an institution that is poised to play a critical role in the economic transition of Calgary and Alberta through its commitment to entrepreneurial thinking and innovation.”

Born and raised in Edmonton, Yedlin witnessed first-hand the power of education to provide the opportunity to rebuild a life in a new country, as the daughter of immigrants. Both of her parents went on to become educators, in the public primary system and at the post-secondary level.

She was co-chair of the 2016 United Way Campaign, which raised more than $55 million during a difficult economic time for the city. She is an active member of the Calgary community, having served on the board of a number of arts and community organizations, including the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Calgary Opera, YMCA Calgary, United Way Calgary, and Winsport.  She was previously a member of the President’s Advisory Council at the University of Alberta and currently serves on the Deans’ Advisory Council for the Faculty of Science at the University of Calgary.

Yedlin graduated from the University of Alberta in 1984, with a bachelor of arts in economics and English. She also holds an MBA from Queen’s University.

“Deborah Yedlin is an accomplished professional with numerous connections to the Calgary community, and is eager to advance our university’s bold vision and community relations,” said outgoing Chancellor Robert Thirsk. “Our students, faculty, staff and alumni will certainly be inspired by her unique experiences and fresh perspectives.”

Chancellors are passionate advocates for higher education and research. They chair the University of Calgary’s Senate, work to advance the university’s position in the community, and encourage the pursuit of excellence and the recognition of the university’s essential role in society.

The chancellor represents the university at ceremonial occasions and presides over convocation ceremonies. The chancellor is an ex-officio member of the university’s Board of Governors.

Elizabeth Cannon, University of Calgary president and vice-chancellor, said Yedlin will play an integral role in the UCalgary community, supporting the Eyes High Strategy 2017-22 to be recognized as one of the top five research universities in the country, and helping share the story of the university in our communities.

“I am so pleased that Deborah will be the next chancellor — she will be an excellent ambassador for all we do to advance teaching, learning and research, every day,” said Cannon. “I want to thank the current Chancellor Robert Thirsk for his enthusiasm and passion to the University of Calgary, which has been deeply appreciated by all.”

The chancellor search committee was chaired by James McNeil and was made up of: Steve Allan, Susan Barker, Branden Cave, Jacqueline Engstrom, Eva Friesen, Jacqueline Jenkins, Willem Klumpenhouwer, James McNeil, Andrew Mosker, Nuvyn Peters, Helen Sunderland, Dianne Tapp, Glenn Tibbles.

For more information about the University of Calgary Senate and Chancellor, please visit: www.ucalgary.ca/senate.