Dr. Frits Pannekoek became the sixth president of Athabasca University on June 1, 2005. Dr. Pannekoek's interest in and commitment to Athabasca University is reflected in 20 years as a tutor and course developer here. His experience with distance education, blended learning and the development of innovative learning environments are tremendous benefits to the University as it completes its transformation to the on-line environment.
A fellow Albertan, Dr. Pannekoek earned his honours Bachelor of Arts in 1969 and Master of Arts (1970) at the University of Alberta before completing his Ph.D. (1974) with a dissertation on western Canadian history and Indigenous peoples at Queen's University.
Prior to joining Athabasca University in an executive capacity, Dr. Pannekoek had been the Director of Information Resources at the University of Calgary, with academic appointments in the Faculty of Communications and Culture and the Department of History. As Director of Information Resources, he had direct responsibility for the university library and its five branch libraries, the university archives, the university press and the Nickle Arts Museum. He has also been the chair of The Alberta Library, which is a consortium of more than 300 libraries and the Health Knowledge Network, which is a health information collective.
Dr. Pannekoek has a substantial reputation as a Canadian historian for the contributions he has made over the last 30 years with his academic fields of western Canadian and Métis history, museum and heritage studies, and information and communications studies. Dr. Pannekoek's long-standing interest in Aboriginal communities is reflected in his many publications as well as his participation in initiatives such as the partnership that led to the interpretive centre for Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the University of Calgary partnership with Red Crow College.
Dr. Pannekoek is recognized nationally for his leadership in the creation of digital resources and the transformation of academic publishing. He has been involved in the development of the Information Commons at the University of Calgary, an online resource that supports the integration of innovative technologies into the learning and teaching environment. He is also currently a member of the Alberta SuperNet Research Alliance which is studying the impact of the SuperNet in Alberta and is regularly called upon to serve as a provincial and national policy advisor.
Updated September 10 2014 by Student & Academic Services