Dean's Message

Following the election of a new provincial government this spring, the NDP moved forward with the promised review of the royalty framework in the energy sector. As owners of the resource, Albertans need to be part of this conversation. As I mentioned in an earlier dean’s message, I strongly believe academics have a responsibility to act as public intellectuals, sharing the results of our research and becoming active participants in this vital dialogue.

On September 25, Vice-Dean Stuart Landon and I attended a meeting with Dave Mowat, Chair of the Alberta Royalty Review panel, and Gil Nault, Director of Major Projects, Strategic Initiatives Division in Alberta Energy, as part of the ongoing cross-disciplinary discussion surrounding the global energy landscape.

Recently, the Faculty of Arts, UAlberta’s Petrocultures research group, and the Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) hosted the After Oil roundtable, which attracted more than 200 people to the Art Gallery of Alberta. Moderated by ATB Chief Economist (and recent Alumni Honour Award winner) Todd Hirsch, the roundtable explored our connection to fossil fuels and how we might begin a conversation about life after oil. 

Next week, in collaboration with the Petrocultures group and Campus Saint-Jean, the Faculty of Arts is presenting Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi, widely known as the Green Sheikh. His Excellency’s presentation, One World One People: Leadership in the Energy, Sustainability and Transition, will address the topic of global leadership in energy sustainability with an emphasis on oil-rich regions such as the United Arab Emirates and the Province of Alberta. The Green Sheikh is an environmental advocate with a unique and personal connection to the global oil and gas industry, and I encourage all of you to attend this one-of-a-kind presentation.

It’s our responsibility in the Arts community to question, to research, and most importantly, to be part of the conversation.  We have much to contribute, and we must seize the opportunities where they exist, and create them where they are absent.  

Lise Gotell
Acting Dean of Arts