Augustana welcomes new University of Alberta president

President-elect Bill Flanagan will begin his new duties July 1, 2020, taking over from outgoing president David H. Turpin.

Tia Lalani - 20 March 2020

Bill Flanagan, former dean of law at Queen's University, will begin a five-year term as the University of Alberta's 14th president and vice-chancellor on July 1, 2020. (Photo: Supplied)

The University of Alberta is proud to announce Bill Flanagan as its next president and vice-chancellor, beginning July 1, 2020.

At a time where many of our announcements have included caution with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic that we are all now fighting, the Augustana community is excited to see this positive news-news that will continue to inspire us to work in community, as we've done especially well over the last few days, under immensely talented leadership.

Bill Flannigan is an outstanding university leader, and we are delighted to welcome him as our incoming president. Born in Edmonton and having grown up in Stony Plain and Lacombe, President-elect Flanagan describes his entry into this position as a type of "homecoming."

His experience as an academic leader and innovator position him well to face the global challenges that he has observed the University of Alberta addressing, including the defence of an open society, building sustainability, growing and strengthening research in artificial intelligence, and addressing such issues as human health and food security.

His commitment to advancing an open society, specifically with regard to work in the humanities and social sciences, is something that rings especially true for us here at Augustana, where diversity and discourse that includes input from a variety of experiences and perspectives are essential.

We are also excited about President-elect Flanagan's past successes in identifying opportunities for the growth of the research and teaching mission at Queen's University where he served as the dean of law for fourteen years, from 2015 to 2019. His inspiring leadership there resulted in an enriched student learning experience through the introduction of various learning innovations, including the development of a unique online undergraduate law program.

Being familiar with Augustana, you are already aware that we are deeply engaged in thinking of creative ways to deliver a more enriching student experience through various learning innovations, including 3-11, First Year Seminar, and our upcoming curricular changes. We are looking forward to continuing to thrive under our new leader who has already proven to be a creative, inspiring, and unifying figure in his previous positions of leadership.

In the context of the province of Alberta and even the global landscape, Augustana is immensely excited to continue the work within an institution that finds ways in tackling the critical challenges of the day while producing students who set out to do the same. We have no doubt that President-elect Flanagan will build on the foundation work of outgoing President David Turpin to the benefit of both the University and the public good.

Augustana is looking forward to continuing to elevate its role within the University of Alberta under this new leadership and would like to wish Bill Flanagan a heartfelt congratulations on this appointment and a successful tenure.


Demetres P. Tryphonopoulos

Dean & Executive Officer

To read the official announcement from the University of Alberta Board of Governors, click here.

To hear from President-elect Flanagan, click here.

To read the folio story on Flanagan's appointment, click here.