Message from the New President: The future is now

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AU, Neil Fassina, President, Athbasca University, Peter MacKinnon, Alberta Government
Dear students,

As I begin my term as Athabasca University’s eighth president, a job that I am very humbled and excited to have, I thought I’d take this opportunity to say hello, and to affirm my commitment to you, our learners.

While I may only be just starting my journey here, I have gained a number of insights during my transition to AU. First and foremost, I know that Athabasca University is committed to your success. We have a rich history and tradition of putting you, our learner first; of embracing innovation and of creating connections among learners, knowledge and communities. I stand firmly committed to continuing and strengthening this history.

It is not lost on me that our university has faced some challenges. But I firmly believe that our opportunities far outweigh our challenges, and that our strengths far outnumber our faults. I know that we can build upon those strengths, and find those opportunities to once again return Athabasca University to its position of global leadership in open, online and distance learning.

When I accepted this position, I made a commitment to ‘hit the ground listening.’ And that means listening to you as well. In the coming weeks, I will be meeting with representatives of the Athabasca University Students’ Union (AUSU), and Athabasca University Graduate Students’ Association (AUGSA), to hear your ideas and concerns. I look forward to working with you as we go forward into what I strongly believe is a very bright future.

Your decision to trust your educational future with Athabasca University is one that all of us take very seriously. Everyone at AU is committed to providing you with the best educational experience you can have. Working together, we can make that experience even better.


Neil Fassina, PhD


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