Dear friends of the Alberta School of Business,
Many of you have called and written me to express your frustration, disappointment and anger over the University of Alberta’s decision to award an honorary degree to David Suzuki. I am writing you today to tell you that I deeply regret the hurt, frustration and alienation that many of you feel. While universities are, and must remain, arenas for vigorous public debate and respectful differences of opinion, the awarding of an honorary degree should be an occasion for celebration and pride. An honorary degree should unite, not divide.
It is very clear this honorary degree has caused significant distress and anger to many Albertans. The vast majority of Albertans, myself included, are justifiably proud of the many significant and valuable contributions the energy and resource industries have made to this province, and this country. We applaud and celebrate the innovation, dedication and grit so many hard-working Albertans have contributed to these sectors.
The Alberta School of Business has a long history of contributing positively and productively to the energy and resource industries through our research, our policy analysis, but most importantly through our students and alumni, many of whom work, or have worked in the energy and resource sectors. I apologize most deeply and sincerely to our alumni and supporters who understandably feel disappointed and betrayed by this situation.
Joseph A Doucet
Stanley A Milner Professor and Dean
Alberta School of Business