Roger Epp

Interim Vice-Provost and Dean

Dr. Roger Epp is interim Vice-Provost and Dean in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. An emeritus professor in Political Science, where he remains an active graduate supervisor, he has also served the University of Alberta in a number of senior leadership positions. From 2004-2011, he was founding Dean and head of the University’s undergraduate Augustana Campus in the small city of Camrose – the inspiration for his book Only Leave a Trace: Meditations (2017). Since then, he has the positions of Deputy Provost (2014-15) and Director (2015-19) of UAlberta North, an office he helped to establish in order to support and enlarge the University’s diverse work across northern Canada and the circumpolar region. Dr. Epp has also been visiting professor at universities in the U.K., the U.S., Brazil, and China.

A native of rural Saskatchewan and a former daily newspaper journalist, Dr. Epp received his BA (Hons.) from the University of Alberta, and his MA and PhD from Queen’s University, where he began teaching in 1989. He received Augustana’s distinguished teaching award in 2001, and has found ways to stay connected to the classroom notwithstanding his administrative appointments. As a researcher, he has published widely in the history of international political thought, with a particular interest in ethics and applied hermeneutics. In recent decades, however, he has focused his scholarly work on the rural prairie West and what it means to live as a fifth-generation settler on Treaty 6 territory with a sense of memory, gratitude, and responsibility. His explorations include We Are All Treaty People: Prairie Essays (2008), Writing Off the Rural West: Globalization, Governments, and the Transformation of Rural Communities (co-edited, 2001), and a radio documentary, “The Canadian Clearances” (co-produced, 2004) for CBC Radio’s Ideas. He was honorary witness at hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada at Ermineskin Cree Nation. Committed to writing for public as well as specialist readers, his work has appeared in such diverse venues as Inside Higher Ed, the Globe and Mail, Small Farmer’s Journal, Northern Policy, and the literary magazine Geist, as well as in chapters in numerous edited volumes. His co-edited book Roads Taken (2014) presents career narratives of successful adaptation from PhD programs to small campuses and distinct public missions in non-metropolitan settings across North America.

He is a husband, parent, and grandparent, and a vegetable gardener. He was once allowed to pilot a dog team north of 60, which did not end well, and the Battle River Railway’s engine 5353, whose whistle he blew long and expertly at level crossings.