SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) is ready to take Huskie Athletics to a whole new level.
With a proud tradition and history dating back 105 years, Huskie Athletics has long been recognized as one of the most successful programs in Canadian Interuniversity Sport, playing an integral role in enhancing the reputation and culture of the university. Beginning in November, Huskie Athletics will be advised and guided by its first-ever Board of Trustees.
By moving to a university-wide level, Huskies Athletics will be further mandated to provide an elite student-athlete experience within a unique, ever-changing environment that fosters athletic and academic excellence.
“This board, which will bring together a diverse group of individuals with outstanding backgrounds, will provide strategic expertise and guidance in student-athlete development, resource management, program planning, and community and corporate engagement,” said U of S President Peter Stoicheff, adding that the new 11-member board will draw on wide-ranging expertise by teaming up six community members, all U of S graduates, with five campus representatives.
The first iteration of the board will include the following community members: Diane Jones Konihowski, Tom Anselmi, David Sutherland, Shelley Brown, David Dubé and a sixth member to be named at a later date. The U of S representatives are: Patti McDougall, vice-provost, teaching and learning, Greg Fowler, vice-president finance and resources, Debra Pozega Osburn, vice-president university relations, Chad London, incoming dean of the College of Kinesiology, and Peta Bonham-Smith, interim dean of the College of Arts and Science.
“We are excited to kick off a new era of Huskie Athletics,” said Stoicheff. “Our Huskie athletes and programs have long been a source of pride for students, staff and alumni worldwide and, through the board’s leadership, we want to build on that long track record of success and enhance the experience for our student athletes, for our fans and for our community.”
Stoicheff has appointed Dubé, a successful local businessman, philanthropist, member of the U of S Board of Governors and long-time supporter of Huskie Athletics, as the first chair of the new Board of Trustees.
“With 105 Canada West championships and 26 national titles to our credit, including our first women’s basketball title under coach Lisa Thomaidis in March, Huskie Athletics has long been a top-echelon program that we now want to take to even higher levels of accomplishment both athletically and academically,” said Dubé.
“A vibrant athletic program is a fundamental part of the culture on campus and enhances our connection to the community. We are proud to have produced generations of Huskies who have gone on to excel as amateur, professional and Olympic athletes, as well as Rhodes scholars, scientists, artists and leaders of industry,” said Dubé.
“The Huskies play a major role in the reputation and culture of the university, the city and our alumni network worldwide,” Stoicheff said. “This new structure is intended to support and enhance all of that.”
Huskie Athletics features more than 400 student-athletes competing on 15 teams in basketball, cross-country, football, hockey, soccer, track and field, volleyball and wrestling in the Canada West Universities Athletic Association.
Quotes from key Huskies Athletics supporters:
“I support the new governance structure of Huskie Athletics and the underlying desire to build a more transparent and accountable governance structure. This is an important step in growing the Huskie brand and enhancing Huskie Athletics in the broader community.” – Scott Banda, chief executive officer, Federated Co-operatives Limited.
“The university should be congratulated for the changes to the governance to Huskie Athletics, particularly the introduction of the skills-based board. This is a tremendously positive step by the university to embrace off-campus expertise in a transparent and accountable governance structure. Positive results are sure to flow from these changes enhancing Huskie Athletics in the country, the community and amongst the global U of S alumni family.” – Wayne Brownlee, executive vice-president and chief financial officer, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan.