November 11, 2011

I take charge – temporarily – at The King’s University College

My very last stop on my cross-Canada journey was The King’s University College in Edmonton, Alberta. I was thrilled to be back in Edmonton, and I really enjoyed my visit at King’s, where I think I made my presence known . . .

Upon arriving at King’s on Tuesday, November 1st, I was immediately invited by the King’s Centre for Molecular Structure to participate in some IR testing and demonstrations being held for students during Globe Aware week. I eagerly jumped at the chance and really enjoyed the afternoon with that team.

The following morning on the way to Globe Aware I met a friend at the Level coffee shop on the King’s campus and we quickly formed a great friendship. My new friend, named Bonnie, took me to many different Globe Aware Events.

Wednesday afternoon I spent time with Student Life learning about the Restorative Justice program and how King’s is making strides in that area.

On Thursday, I attended sessions entitled Globalization Opportunity and Issues and Flirting (and Culture Too), and I really enjoyed the Global Aware dinner hosted by the sociology department.

Friday was a very busy day for this energetic bear. I attended the Internationalizing the Curriculum presentation, discussing the European history study tour which took place in May 2011. Students visited Auschwitz, Budapest, Krakow, and Prague. Very impressive!

After that event I learned of a board meeting being held at King’s. I only meant to play a little prank, but I must have really scared them. In the aftermath, apologies were both given and received between me and King’s President, and we even collaborated on a funny media release to mark the occasion (see below).


Monday prior to my departure, I gave away two pairs of Edmonton Oilers’ tickets to students and faculty who had participated in Globe Aware Week.

Thank you King’s for making this week a memorable one!




News Release

 “Chair Bear” frightens King’s Board Executive

During a recent stop on her cross-Canada tour, Ursula, the mascot of the Association of University and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), staged a stunning coup at a meeting of the Board of Governors of The King’s University College in Edmonton, Alberta. Ursula unexpectedly stormed into a meeting of the Board’s Executive Committee and seized the gavel from Board Chair Bill Diepeveen.

“She just attacked me,” Diepeveen said later, “and I knew that when a bear attacks you, avoid eye contact and show submission. It’s the only reason I survived – I am grateful to be alive!”

As Diepeveen cowered in fear, Ursula took charge of the meeting, demanding the immediate dismissal of King’s President, Dr Harry Fernhout. Ursula cited the complete absence of polar bears among King’s senior management as evidence of Fernhout’s “anti-ursus maritimus syndrome.” In his defence, Fernhout stated that there had been a notable dearth of qualified polar bear applicants for recent management vacancies.

After a growly discussion, Board members proposed a compromise: Fernhout would be allowed to keep his job on the condition that all polar bears in Alberta would be offered free tuition at King’s in perpetuity. This proposal appeared to mollify Ursula; she exited the meeting as abruptly as she had entered. Board Chair Diepeveen gingerly took up the gavel and continued with the next order of business: a motion banning ursine intrusions at all future Board meetings.

“We’re just happy nobody was injured seriously,” Diepeveen concluded.

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