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UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE
50 YEARS, 50 VOICES
50 YEARS, 50 VOICES
Lorne received his Bachelor of Management degree from the University of Lethbridge in 1998. He began his career at the U of L as the assistant manager of Housing Services and was the first recipient of the Outstanding Service Award from the Residence Life Professional Association. He has also received six U of L Instructor of the Year Awards. Currently, Lorne is the Assistant Dean of the Northern Campuses and is completing his doctoral degree.
Lorne describes the unique qualities of the Calgary Campus of the University.
The full audio interview will be made available online in late 2017. For more information please contact the University of Lethbridge Archives. (email@example.com)
It is a fascinating place because the conversations that take place in the classrooms there, are all incredibly rich. So, while the mean age or the average age of students on the Lethbridge Campus is about twenty-one and a half, in Calgary in particular, it is about twenty-seven and a half. So, the students are older, many of them have diplomas and have worked and haven’t been able to be promoted because they don’t have a degree and they have kind of come back to school. Seventy percent of them are working full-time and all of the classes are offered evenings and weekends. So, it is very much a class where you might be talking about a management or human resources issue, and instead of it being somebody with a briefcase and a lectern at the front of the room talking at people, there is this dialogue. Because the minute you start to talk about laying people off, half the class has either been through it on one side of the table or the other.
And so, there is this richness of conversation that when we have had people who taught in Lethbridge and Calgary, in those early years, they would come into the office after the class with their eyes gleaming with how rewarding it was with the students there. So, I found that very rewarding, at the time. But the role was interesting because, while officially the staff there reported to the Dhillon School of Business, you really act as the agent, the hands and the eyes for 17 different faculties or departments on the main campus. That included everything from … because somebody would come in after hours with an academic misconduct issue, coaching them and then referring them back to the faculty that they worked for, for more specific advice. To doing conflict resolution and student financial aid awards and acting on behalf of the Register and the Cash Office to the point that a desk showed up that we needed to assemble. And it is not worth a four-hour round trip from Lethbridge, so two members of the staff showed up in jeans and sweatshirts with tools from their own garage to put the desk together.
So, it is really about organic survival. Do what it takes. And there is this entrepreneurial spirit to making things successful, and in Calgary it really worked. The environment was there. There were people there who were quite interested and so it’s pushed … it is close to 800 people now. And I think it has been a celebration of the innovation and success of the University of Lethbridge.
(Interviewed by Chris Hosgood)