Monday, October 31, 2011

Acting board chair named

Gordon J. Clanachan, vice-chair and a public member of the Board of Governors, will serve as acting chair of the board, effective Nov. 1.  As you know, chair Brian Heidecker is stepping down and today is his last day in that role. 

Gordon will serve as acting chair until the minister of Advanced Education and Technology appoints a new chair through an order-in-council.  We do not know when this will take place.  University business will continue as usual with oversight in Gordon’s able hands.

Gordon is a long-time governor with extensive committee service on the board.  This includes: 
  • External Member of Board Audit Committee, 2001 – 2006
  • External Member of Board Finance and Property Committee, 2001– 2006
  • Member of the Board of Governors, 2006-2009, reappointed (second term) 2009
  • Chair Board Finance and Property Committee, 2006 – present
  • Member of the Board Audit Committee, 2007 – present; vice- chair since 2010
  • Member of the Board Investment Committee, 2007 – present

Gordon is the owner of Clanachan Enterprises, a consulting firm established in 1999 that provides business advisory services.  He served as president and CEO of RaiLink Ltd., a TSX-listed public company and Canada’s largest regional railway from 1994 to 1999.  Prior to his career with RaiLink, Gordon spent 15 years with Price Waterhouse in Canada and the United States, specializing in the areas of management consulting and financial audit. 

He is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (2009), Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (1983), and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (1979).  Gordon is a graduate of Glasgow University (1976) in Scotland.

Gordon also serves on a number of boards.  He chairs the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority and is a director of Alberta Blue Cross, Bridgewater Bank, and Melcor Developments Ltd.  He is actively involved in the community as a member of the Rotary Club of Edmonton, and, in 2009, he was awarded the Fellow of Chartered Accountants (FCA) designation by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta. He was also named "Alberta Chamber of Resources – Person of the Year" in 1998.

Yours sincerely,
Indira V. Samarasekera, OC
President and Vice-Chancellor


  1. Does not the university has some more Arts oriented people for this position, such as an author, sociologist, philosopher? We need some one who does not see business first at universities!

  2. Hi Janet,

    Thanks for the question. Gordon Clanachan is a public member of the Board of Governors, so he was appointed by the Government of Alberta's Minister of Advanced Education and Technology. As vice-chair he assumes the duties of acting chair in the absence of the chair. Board members come from a variety of backgrounds, including members from within the university itself. There have been a number of governors with backgrounds in the arts, humanities and social sciences.


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