From the Provost's Desk: Thank you to the deans finishing terms this summer

Thanking Dr. Mocquais, Dr. Patten and Dr. Holt for their leadership.


From left to right: Dean Pierre-Yves Mocquais, Interim Dean Steve Patten and Interim Dean Nick Holt

This summer marks the end of the terms of three of our University of Alberta leaders: Dean Pierre-Yves Mocquais, Interim Dean Steve Patten and Interim Dean Nick Holt. I want to thank all three of these leaders for the integrity, wisdom and energy they brought to dean's council throughout their respective tenures. They have each been advocates for their disciplines, and the guidance they provided as leaders has enriched not only their individual faculties, but also the university as a whole.

I am grateful to Pierre-Yves, Steve and Nick for their work to establish strong foundations from which our incoming deans can continue to develop, build and grow—I have captured just a handful of their many contributions below. Please join me in thanking all three outgoing deans for their service, and wishing them the best in the next stages of their careers.

Steven Dew
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

Dean Pierre-Yves Mocquais, Campus Saint-Jean

Dean Mocquais elevated education and the student experience at Campus Saint-Jean (CSJ) during his two terms as Dean. He advanced technology and online learning through initiatives like digital learning rooms and the development of hybrid and co-modal classes–which served students well while learning remotely throughout the pandemic. His advocacy for francophone education included sharing his own enthusiasm for Western Canadian francophone literature and culture. In addition, Dean Mocquais went beyond setting staff and students up for success by being involved in the campus community and leading with a human-centered approach and empathy.

CSJ developed and flourished under Dean Mocquais’ strategic leadership. He launched the Marcelle and Louis Desrochers Institute for Heritage Studies and Transdisciplinary Research on Francophonies (IMELDA) and opened satellite campuses in Calgary, Grande Prairie and Red Deer, increasing the reach of francophone programming. Dean Mocquais expertly corresponded with all levels of government, including helping to secure $13.3 million in funding for the faculty. He also formed and maintained partnerships with other post-secondary institutions, industry groups, and relevant organizations, such as the Association of Colleges and Universities of the Canadian Francophonie. His local to international involvement has elevated CSJ’s visibility in the Canadian francophone community and beyond.

After Dean Mocquais’ term ends on June 30th, he will welcome incoming dean Dr. Jason Carey and take an administrative leave.

Interim Dean Steve Patten, Faculty of Arts

Interim Dean Patten cultivated diversity in the Faculty of Arts during his two years as Interim Dean, and also helped to bring consistency and stability throughout restructuring. He oversaw a community approach to Equity, Racial Justice, and Indigenous Initiatives in Arts that culminated in priorities for improvement, including increasing the diversity of faculty and students. Under his leadership, the faculty expanded its commitment to Indigenous research, teaching and learning, including support for language revitalization. He also contributed to the creation of the Faculty’s Signature Areas of Research and joined a number of Arts departments and units in supporting Ukrainian students and culture.

Throughout his time as Interim Dean, Dr. Patten led the faculty in protecting and advancing the place of Arts disciplines at the U of A. After his term concludes on June 30th, he will hand the reins to incoming dean Dr. Robert Wood.

Interim Dean Nick Holt, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation

The Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation (KSR) grew in both reach and impact during Interim Dean Holt’s year in the role. He oversaw the creation of the faculty’s first Indigenous Initiatives & Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Committee and engaged the faculty to participate in the university's Black Academic Excellence Cohort. During his term, enrollment increased to over 1,100 undergraduate students, the number and size of graduate programs grew, and three more Assistant Professors were appointed. He also stewarded two successful teaching projects with Beijing Sport University and finalized the agreement for the Alberta International School of Recreation, Sport and Tourism of Beijing Sport University.

After Dr. Holt’s term as Interim Dean ends, he will join the University of Calgary as Dean (Kinesiology) and be succeeded by incoming dean Dr. Kyra Pyke, who starts on August 1, 2022.