Roderick D. Fraser (1995–2005)
Roderick D. Fraser was born in Vegreville, Alberta on July 23, 1940 and was raised in Calgary and Edmonton. In 1961, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Economics from the University of Alberta in Calgary. Two years later, he finished his Master's degree in Economics at the University of Alberta. In 1965, he received a PhD from the London School of Economics in England.
Dr Fraser began his career at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario as a professor of Economics. He was Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science there from 1983 to 1988 and Principal (Resources) from 1988 to 1994.
On January 1, 1995, Fraser was appointed President of the University of Alberta. He was reappointed in January 2000 and served until June 30, 2005. During his tenure as President, the University made unprecedented leaps in teaching, research, and community service excellence.
The period from 1995 to 2005 was a time of extreme growth for the University of Alberta. The enrollment went from 29,000 to 35,000 and 1,174 new professors were hired. Annual research funding leaped from $94 million a year to $400 million a year. Similar increases occurred in the University's budget, assets, endowments, and scholarships. New buildings were needed to house the University's expansion and, between 1995 and 2005, sixteen new building were created and eight more were begun. It was partly due to Dr Fraser's influence that the University of Alberta became host to the National Institute for Nanotechnology.
Dr Fraser was dedicated to promoting international networking, and, during his tenure, 240 international agreements were signed in 46 countries. He also believed in inclusiveness and networked with Elders and other members of First Nations communities to develop a strategy to enhance learning opportunities for Aboriginal students.
Dr Fraser has received numerous awards, including an honorary degree from Queen's University. Fraser was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada on October 29, 2004. He met his wife Judith when they were both students at the University of Alberta. In his role as President Emeritus, Dr Fraser continues to be active in the university community.