The formal transfer of Augustana University College to the University of Alberta (U of A) effective July 1st this year is the culmination of nearly two years of extensive planning and negotiations with key stakeholders.
Following are some of the highlights of the merger.
Augustana will continue to provide programming with a focus on undergraduate liberal arts and sciences as established by the Corporation.
Alberta Learning and Alberta Infrastructure have approved $40 million over the next three years to make this merger possible. The annual operating budget for Augustana will be increased by $7 million for the next three years. In addition, $12 million of capital funding has been allocated to replace and renovate Augustana buildings. As well, another $7 million has been provided to cover one-time transition costs.
Augustana has been incorporated into the U of A and is named the Augustana Faculty as approved unanimously by General Faculties Council (GFC) of the U of A.
A special Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life is to be established and supported as part of the Augustana Faculty for the study, teaching, and research into the role of religion and faith in public life. This Centre has been approved by the U of A, and is in recognition of the development of Augustana by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC). Discussions are underway to gain family approval to name this Centre in honour of Chester Ronning.
In addition, Augustana will plan for a Chaplaincy Program in cooperation with the ELCIC that will provide opportunities for new approaches to build a strong vibrant ecumenical chaplaincy at Augustana.
Augustana will continue to offer relevant programs through its Centre for Community Education.
The increased funding will allow Augustana Faculty to grow from the current student population of 1000 up to 1200.
Founders' Hall (Old Main) will continue to be a focal point for Augustana as building construction and renovation plans unfold.
All Augustana employees have been offered employment positions within the terms and conditions of the U of A's collective agreements.
Augustana Faculty will retain its Development Office, which will provide a means for Augustana's many supporters to continue to support Augustana's academic and pastoral endeavours, such as the Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life.
Augustana has received exceptional support and assistance from the Minister of Learning, the MLA, many Ministers of the Province, the U of A, and especially from Augustana's staff and faculty and the Camrose regional community.
To reach a merger agreement with the U of A, the Augustana Board of Regents has effectively exercised its stewardship role throughout the transition planning period.
- Augustana's significant funding challenges identified early in 2002; alternative arrangements/solutions considered.
- Formal communications initiated with officials of Alberta Learning and some of the province's post-secondary institutions.
- A series of newsletters presented Augustana's situation/options to ELCIC constituents and the greater Camrose community.
- In June 2003, over 340 members of the Camrose Lutheran College Corporation approved by an 80% margin the proposed transfer of Augustana to Alberta's public post-secondary system. (Minutes of the Corporation Meeting)
- Subsequent discussions led to the signing of a Letter of Intent in November of 2003, and the major funding announcement in March of 2004.
- The legal transfer agreement was completed and signed in June 2004.
A major celebration event in Camrose is anticipated in the fall of this year.
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More information on the merger