David Atkinson is the President of Grant MacEwan University. With a career marked by a commitment to student engagement, Dr. Atkinson also brings significant experience as a passionate educator, president of three Canadian universities, and an active participant in both the academic and non-academic communities.
Dr. Atkinson obtained his MA and PhD (English) from the University of Calgary. He taught for 15 years at the University of Lethbridge until his appointment as Dean of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan. Subsequently, he served as president for Brock University (St. Catharines, Ont.), Carleton University (Ottawa, Ont.) and, most recently, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Surrey, B.C.).
An accomplished academic and researcher, Dr. Atkinson has published four books and over 90 essays and reviews. He was Visiting Professor at Hokkaigakuen University in Sapporo, Japan, and has served as reviewer and referee for various granting councils.
He has served on the boards of numerous organizations including Vancouver Opera and Katimavik. Dr. Atkinson is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International and a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.
The President provides strategic leadership directed at defining and implementing a vision for MacEwan University's future. Reporting to the Board of Governors, the President facilitates a shared governance structure within the University. The President brings an inclusive leadership style to ensure the University continues to live the MacEwan values of respect, integrity, citizenship and environmental stewardship. The President leads a senior management team to effectively manage all aspects of the University including: academic accreditation and quality assurance, enrolment management and growth, facility planning, financial management, risk and opportunity, human resource management, fund development and student services.
- Ensure MacEwan remains unsurpassed in delivering an exceptional learning experience for students;
- Provide leadership to establish, promote, implement, continually evaluate and reformulate MacEwan's mission, philosophy, strategic goals, and operational priorities;
- Clearly identify opportunities and challenges to advance the vision and university strategic plan;
- Advance the University's academic and scholarly mission through establishing provincial, national, and international partnerships;
- Lead the requirements of resource management of the University with the government, stakeholders, and the MacEwan community.
- Provide overall leadership and direction to ensure the University operates within the policy framework established by the Board of Governors by reporting to the Board and its standing committees;
- Facilitate an effective shared governance framework with the Board of Governors and the Academic Governance Council.
Communication and Relationship Building
- Communicate effectively with all internal and external constituencies;
- Foster open communication frameworks and channels to connect with the University and its stakeholder community;
- Build strong relationships within higher education, the business and voluntary sectors, and at all levels of government;
- Direct external relations and fundraising efforts.
Resource Management and Acquisition
- Negotiate at a provincial level to ensure required funding grants at an operational and capital level are adequate to continuing offering MacEwan's programs;
- Guide the University through a unique facility expansion plan by creating financial partnerships, strong relationships with benefactors, and government funding.
Find out more
Reference Appendix D of University Policy B2300.