Campus Life

Dr. Harold Jansen appointed to new role as University Librarian and Dean of the School of Liberal Education

One of the University of Lethbridge’s most respected professors and administrators is prepared to take on a new role this spring as Dr. Harold Jansen has been named the new University Librarian and Dean of the School of Liberal Education.

Dr. Harold Jansen, University Librarian and Dean of the School of Liberal Education.

Jansen, a political scientist who has taught in the Faculty of Arts & Science since 1998 and most recently been serving as ULethbridge’s Interim University Librarian, is enthused about the new role and his opportunity to continue working with the library and to build on the strong foundation of the School of Liberal Education and its standing as a hallmark of the University’s academic philosophy.

“The principle of liberal education is what gives the University of Lethbridge its identity,” says Jansen. “I am thrilled to have the privilege of working with two academic units that contribute so directly to that vision and that are focused on preparing students to be successful while they are here at our university and after graduation.”

Jansen excelled in his teaching and research duties while in the Faculty of Arts & Science. A natural leader, he gravitated to taking the head of the classroom during his high school years when he put together ad hoc Chemistry 20 tutoring sessions for his classmates. Later, he worked as a teaching assistant for chemistry and history classes as an undergraduate student at the King’s University College in Edmonton. He continued to find his way into teaching roles when completing his BA at the University of Alberta, his master’s at Carleton University and then his doctoral studies back at the U of A.

“Dr. Jansen is an excellent educator who has always had a unique talent to understand the student perspective and meet students where they are in their learning and to empower them to take on new concepts and new ideas,” says Dr. Erasmus Okine, provost and vice-president academic. “As a researcher in his field and administrator, he has demonstrated his ability as a leader and innovator in every sense. His recent experience in the library, coupled with his deep commitment to the ideals of liberal education will serve him well in this role.”

Jansen is recognized for his research work on political party and election finance in Canada and he’s consistently been voted one of the most popular teachers on campus. In 2019, he was honoured with the Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2018 the Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union. Jansen served as a Board of Governors Teaching Chair from 2013-2015 and was a Teaching Fellow from 2009-2010.

Administratively, Jansen chaired the Department of Political Science from 2015-2018 and was Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts & Science before taking on the role of Interim University Librarian.

“The Library and the School of Liberal Education are central to the teaching and research mission of the University of Lethbridge. From my experience with both units, what makes them special is the exceptional dedication of their staff. Their commitment to students and to the mission of the university makes me optimistic about the future. I could not be more excited to work with these amazing people.”

Jansen will begin his role as University Librarian and Dean on May 1, 2023. His appointment is one of four new dean appointments this spring, in addition to the recent announcements of Dr. Digvir Jayas as president and vice-chancellor and alumnus Terry Whitehead as chancellor.