Announcement from Dean Berger regarding an Operational Review and Leadership change in Athletics (April 30, 2019)

Beginning during the summer months of 2019 and extending into the fall term, the Augustana Campus will undertake an operational review of our Athletics and Recreation program. As we prepare for this review, I am announcing a leadership change. Effective May 1, 2019, Mr. Greg Ryan will no longer be in the position of Director of Athletics and Recreation. Randal Nickel, Executive Director Student Life, will temporarily take on the additional responsibility of Interim Athletic Director. Mr. Nickel will be supported through modest changes in staff responsibilities within the department.

I wish to thank Mr. Ryan for his eleven years of service to Augustana. During this time, we have seen growth in the program, a strengthening of our ties to the Camrose community, record numbers of athletes earning recognition for their academic success and, especially during the past season, increased competitiveness and success on the court, the ice, the course, etc.

The operational review does not presuppose changes to programs or teams that already exist; the focus instead will be on long-term sustainability and overall quality of our athletics and recreation programs. This initiative follows two smaller reviews, one related to Augustana’s Nordic program and the other involving Fitness Centre operations. In both cases, reorganization has enabled us to both strengthen and make a long-term commitment to these activities. Both were unique, and neither provides a one-size-fits-all model as we move into a more comprehensive review.

I appreciate that this news may come as a surprise. As a result, I have informed all students and staff that there are no plans for significant change during the coming academic year; there is no hidden agenda; and the operational review will involve broad consultation. Incoming Dean Demetres Tryphonopoulos is aware that we are taking these steps and is prepared to help provide leadership in coming months.

Should students, staff, or community members have any questions, please contact either Randal Nickel (rnickel@ualberta.ca) or myself (aberger@ualberta.ca).