Faculty of Extension
The Department of Extension became the Faculty of Extension in 1975.
Did you know?
In 2002, CKUA Radio aired 20 short vignettes highlighting the Faculty of Extension's 90-year history. The audio vignettes were supplemented with historical photos in a slideshow.
The Faculty of Extension had its start in the basement of Assiniboia Hall in 1912. Known at that time as the Department of Extension, its mission was to reach out to Alberta’s predominantly rural/agricultural communities to find out what the University could do for them beyond the walls of its classrooms and laboratories.
Extension’s first director, Albert Ottewell, travelled Alberta with his magic lantern, slides, and a travelling library.
After World War I, Edward (Ned) Corbett joined the Department as Ottewell’s assistant and eventual successor. The two men were dedicated to the earnest mission of bringing adult education to communities throughout Alberta. Extension visits became very popular. In those early days, modes of transportation for Extension educators included horse-drawn wagons, trains, and E.A. Corbett’s old Ford.
As one of the University’s earliest and most enduring departments, Extension was responsible for:
- building traveling libraries, which reached thousands of school children and adults who were geographically isolated from public libraries;
- developing a large collection of slides and motion pictures;
- organizing debating societies throughout the province;
- bringing a variety of classes, such as art classes, to rural communities throughout Alberta;
- pioneering CKUA radio broadcasting; and
- starting the Banff School of Fine Arts.
Since its founding , the Faculty of Extension has honoured its commitment to work within the University community and to reach out to the public. For example, starting in 1949, Professor Douglas D. Barry worked simultaneously with Fine Arts and the Department of Extension's Fine Arts Program then joined Extension in a full-time capacity in 1960. He remained until his retirement in 1988. Barry was instrumental in expanding Extension’s drawing and painting courses into new areas of specialization such as design, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, photography, and filmmaking.
Barry said, “For decades, the University of Alberta was the only university in Alberta. The Extension Fine Arts Program gained tremendous popularity because the public saw it as accessible. Anyone could take a class. People didn’t need pre-requisites and the classes weren’t part of a credit program. Importantly, we thought if people couldn’t come to us because of distances, we’d go to them.”
The Faculty of Extension is still reaching out to the public with certificate programs, seminars, non-credit and credit courses, and a post-graduate degree in communications and technology.
Adult learners have an array of continuous on- and off-campus educational opportunities that appeal to every type of learning goal.
Program areas include:
- Applied Sciences
- Adult & Continuing Education
- Communications and Technology
- English Language
- Government Studies
- Liberal Studies
- Medical Acupuncture
The Faculty of Extension also provides research, innovative programming and policy development, and partnerships that promote community engagement and economic development.
According to the Faculty's website, “Faculty researchers are involved in projects and programs ranging from studies of information access and protection of privacy, municipal reform, the Canadian civil justice system and the public, through to experiments with Web-based collaboration and studies of communication inside and outside the networked organization. Research in the Faculty is frequently multifaceted and multidisciplinary.”
To carry it into the future, the Faculty of Extension has three major strategic intitatives: to retain its leadership position, to be a local and global example of the University of Alberta’s research excellence, and to maintain and create positive learning environments.
In fall 2007, the Faculty of Extension added a new chapter to its long history. It relocated from the University Extension Centre (8303-112 Street) to a new home in the historic Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) building at 102 Street and Jasper Avenue. With support from three levels of government, the University of Alberta purchased the building to alleviate problems created by a shortage of space on the main campus and to strengthen and build collaborative links to business, research and development initiatives, and arts and cultural endeavours.
The name of the renovated HBC building is Enterprise Square. The name was selected to reflect the various academic, commercial, private, and cultural enterprises housed under one roof. The word square was selected to correspond not only to the shape of the building, but also to the open area inside, which provides a key meeting and gathering space.
|Deans of the Faculty of Extension|
|2006–07||H.W. (Bill) Connors|
|1996–2001||D.R. (Randy) Garrison|
|1985–1996||Dennis L. Foth|
|1974–1985||Charles M. Lockwood|
|Directors of the Faculty of Extension|
|1956–1974||Duncan D. Campbell|
|1938–1956||Donald R. Cameron|
|1928–1936||Edward Annand Corbett|
|1912–1928||Albert Edward Ottewell|