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UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE
50 YEARS, 50 VOICES
50 YEARS, 50 VOICES
Cathy received a Master of Arts in Economics from Queen’s University. She was the program director for the Edmonton and Calgary campuses of the University of Lethbridge from 1996 to 1998, when she began teaching Economics courses for the Calgary campus.
Cathy discussed the early days of the Edmonton and Calgary campuses of the University of Lethbridge.
The full audio interview will be made available online in late 2017. For more information please contact the University of Lethbridge Archives. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(DM: Diane McKenzie, Interviewer)
CM: I guess in 1996 is when they brought the University of Lethbridge campus to Edmonton. And that’s how I first became involved with the U of L. My husband is a graduate, at U of L, Lethbridge. So I was their first ... it was a part-time job and I was their program director for the Edmonton campus. And, my husband taught the first finance course there; it had two students in it at that time.
DM: So this is the later ‘90’s, I guess?
CM: At that time, we were running out of Grant MacEwan. It was still a Community College at that time, I believe that is where our offices were, and you know, very, just trying to get the program up and running and marketing to students and working. It was George Lermer, who was the former Dean of Business or Management, was the person who introduced this concept and got approval for it from the government. And it was to increase academic access for students who had done the two-year diploma in business at NAIT or SAIT or Grant MacEwan. If they had a high enough GPA graduating they could come to us ... it was 'two-plus-two.' We were marketing to the students, liaising with the colleges to help, because that was our main source of recruitment was their alumni or prospective alumni. We rented a room for an office and classrooms as needed. So, that’s how it all began. It might have been at NAIT, initially ... it was a long time ago.
In ‘96, we started in Edmonton. Then, my husband moved jobs, and we moved to Calgary in ’97 and as it turned out the person who they had recruited to be the program coordinator in Calgary quit, and so I ran both campuses for quite a few years ... out of Calgary.
It was really fun, because it was limited supervision, right? And limited structure because it had never been done before. You know for the University itself I think there was mixed support, like some of the academic people were concerned would we be able to provide a quality education that would meet the standards of the University? From a systems perspective, it was a thing like the first students registering that first fall of ’96. They thought the students would just come to the Registrar’s office and get their acceptance packages. I’m like, you know that is a six-hour drive from Edmonton, right? There were no systems in place to support the students really, so there were a few little growing pains. It was fun to work with the Registrar’s office, work with the Dhillon School of Business, Faculty of Arts, because being a general liberal education university it was important to have the buy-ins from those deans and the Arts.