A Change in Directorship, but Not in Direction: Jars Balan Appointed Interim Director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies

17 July 2017

Having completed a five-year term as Director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, as of 1 July 2017 Dr. Volodymyr Kravchenko began devoting his energies to teaching and research at the University of Alberta's Department of History and Classics. He will also continue to lead two research units at CIUS-the Kowalsky Program for the Study of Eastern Ukraine and the Contemporary Ukraine Studies Program.

Dr. Kravchenko steered CIUS through a very challenging time of fiscal restraint, resulting in staff cuts and considerable uncertainty stemming in part from a lengthy review of the Institute's operations and mission in advance of its 40th anniversary. His term as Director also coincided with dramatic developments in Ukraine, starting with the Revolution of Dignity and then extending through Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea, its ongoing hybrid war in Eastern Ukraine, and the Kremlin's ill-concealed efforts to undermine Ukraine's economy and independence. We are grateful to Dr. Kravchenko for his vision, innovation, and leadership, wish him much success and professional satisfaction in his tenured professorship, and look forward to our continued association with him at the Institute.

Long-time CIUS associate Jars Balan has assumed the duties of Interim Director until the appointment of Dr. Kravchenko's successor. Jars has been involved with the Institute almost from its inception four decades ago, working over the years on various editing contracts, helping to organize conferences on Ukrainian-Canadian themes, conducting research and spearheading the Kalyna Country Ecomuseum project in rural east central Alberta. Since 2000 he has been overseeing the administration of the Ukrainian Canadian Studies Program (with Andrij Makuch), and in 2007 he was appointed coordinator of the Kule Ukrainian Canadian Studies Centre at CIUS. He has an extensive list of scholarly publications, the most recent being an essay titled "The 'Father' of Ukrainian-language Fiction and Non-Fiction in Alberta: Rev. Nestor Dmytrow, 1863-1925," in Writing Alberta: Building on a Literary Identity, published in June by the University of Calgary Press.