University to join national network through inaugural Jarislowsky Chair in Trust and Political Leadership

University to join national network through inaugural Jarislowsky Chair in Trust and Political Leadership

Jarislowsky Foundation supporting new Chair with $2-million investment

The University of Lethbridge is joining a network of five universities from across Canada engaged in a first-of-its-kind collaboration focused on educating future leaders in government, politics and the public service. Supported by a $2-million investment from the Jarislowsky Foundation, ULethbridge will soon be embarking on a global search for its inaugural Jarislowsky Chair in Trust and Political Leadership to lead its participation.

“We’re very excited to be selected to join this unique partnership and see this program as an outstanding complement to the interdisciplinary, liberal education focus of our institution,” says Dr. Mike Mahon, president and vice-chancellor. “Our students are taught to view the world through a critical eye, utilizing a breadth of experience to assess problems and find solutions. This concentration on the ethics of politics, its systems and structures will help create the responsible leaders of tomorrow.”

The Jarislowsky Chair in Trust and Political Leadership will assist the development of an innovative program of scholarship (teaching, research and experiential learning) that will expand knowledge and training in the ethical practice of politics, fiduciary responsibility and democratic governance.

“Our students will be the great beneficiaries of this program and its focus and connectivity with four other regional, liberal arts-focused institutions that make up this network,” says Dr. Matthew Letts, dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science. “This will create innovative and cross-institutional opportunities for transdisciplinary collaboration and experiential learning, and help students develop the broad perspective they need to become meaningfully and productively engaged in social and political issues.”

The national Network of Jarislowsky Chairs in Trust and Political Leadership is made up of five endowed chairs at Acadia University, l’Université du Québec à Trois Rivières (in collaboration with l’École Nationale d’Administration Publique), Trent University, the University of Lethbridge and Vancouver Island University. It is important to note that the Foundation is investing $10 million in the initiative and the universities have committed to finding total matching funds of $10 million.

Once appointed, this academic leader is set to engage with a national network of scholars to educate the next generation of politicians and public sector leaders in ethics, democratic values and responsible governance within the contexts of Canada’s diverse citizenship, democracy and commitment to meaningful Truth and Reconciliation. The Jarislowsky Chairs will offer innovative academic programs and experiential learning opportunities, while working to promote communities of practice in political and governance decision making across Canada.

ULethbridge students will benefit from the opportunity to learn across the partner universities through a combination of foundational and experiential learning courses that bring together students from across the country.

About the Jarislowsky Foundation

The Jarislowsky Foundation was founded in 1993 by Stephen Jarislowsky, a prominent Canadian philanthropist and business leader. The Foundation's mission is to promote, support and foster excellence and ethics in education, medicine and the arts, and the environment and climate change.

The Foundation has 42 research chairs in areas of democracy, governance, public sector management, environment & climate change, Canadian art, and health across Canada.

The Foundation supports programs that allow students from diverse backgrounds to discuss contemporary issues with mentors and recognized experts. These programs aim to develop students' critical thinking skills so that they become leaders with strategic vision and thinking.

The Jarislowsky Foundation supports more than 80 organizations a year in the arts and culture, hospital foundations, the community sector and climate change.

The Jarislowsky Foundation now donates approximately $8 million per year.