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Interim President's Friday Message

Updated on Feb 26
Tags: students, all updates

Safely hosting WHL players on campus

Since the announcement earlier this month that the University and Luther College will house the Western Hockey League’s 7 Eastern Division teams in our residences as part of the WHL’s “bubble” approach, some have enquired about safety precautions that will be in place.

Working together, the University, WHL, and Saskatchewan Health Authority have developed robust COVID-19 protocols to protect the teams and the wider on-campus community. Further information may be found at the Frequently Asked Questions section of the University website.

Journalism students investigate water

A group of students recently made a key contribution to public policy research in Canada.

Following more than a year of work, 35 students from five journalism classes at the University of Regina and First Nations University of Canada released an investigative report that has attracted attention in Saskatchewan and across the country, and has prompted a federal response. Entitled Broken Promises, the report examines the availability and quality of fresh water in First Nations communities in Canada.

I encourage readers to visit the Broken Promises website and explore these students’ work. It includes a video animated by the desire to shed light on and resolve issues of inequity that are of concern to all Canadians. The project is part of a wider quest involving 10 postsecondary partners to develop methods for community knowledge, university research capacity, and newsroom communications power to address real-world problems.

Dr Howard Leeson honoured by the University of Alberta

Dr Howard Leeson, professor emeritus in the department of politics and international studies, has been honoured with a 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, the University of Alberta.

Howard’s friend and colleague in the department, Dr Tom McIntosh, notes: “This award comes in recognition of his long career as a scholar of Canadian politics and federalism and, in particular, for his service to the Government of Saskatchewan in the constitutional negotiations of the late 1970s and early 1980s that led to the patriation of the Canadian constitution in 1982.”

U of A has produced a brief video that profiles Howard and his distinguished career.

Howard - congratulations on this honour, and thank you for your many contributions to our University, province, and country.

JSGS students excel in national competition

It is good to see that while one of our emeritus colleagues was honoured for his public service, six future public servants made their own mark on the national stage.

At the 2021 National Public Administration Case Competition, held virtually through Carleton University on 20 February, the team from the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy placed third out of 12 teams from across the country. The University of Toronto finished first, and Concordia University was second.

The members of the JSGS team representing the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan are: Catherine Cullen, Melissa From, Cameron Symon, Parvin Yazdanparast, and alternates Brady Kroeker and Prince Anim. They were coached by JSGS executives-in-residence Ron Styles and Lin Gallagher.

You may read more about these talented students and their accomplishment on the JSGS website.

Congratulations, and thank you for representing our province so well!

Quick notes

  • Matt Dipple, an alumnus of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, recently published a Leader-Post opinion piece calling for a "messy" civic conversation that recognizes "the contribution that the fossil fuel sector makes to our quality of life and economy" while also recognizing that "our energy practices must be governed by what is good for the planet" ...
  • ... together with his wife Tina, Calvin E Tyler, who 60 years ago dropped out of school for lack of funds, has donated $20 million to support students at that same school, Morgan State University in Baltimore ...
  • ... writing in The Atlantic, Barbara Fister argues that teachers and librarians have a central role in addressing what she describes as an "epistemic crisis" in contemporary society, where "systems designed to share information virally pose a serious threat to democracy" ...
  • ... and finally, two short videos that remind me - despite the challenges now facing our species - of the limitless human capacity for innovation as we see pictures of the Martian surface taken by the Perseverance Rover after its journey of nearly half a billion kilometres ... and back on planet Earth, the staggering talent that resides in humanity.


Thomas Chase

Interim President and Vice-Chancellor