On August 17, 2016, Dr. Neil Fassina became Athabasca University’s (AU) eighth President. Shortly thereafter, and on behalf of the university community, Neil introduced Imagine: Transforming Lives, Transforming Communities, a 5-year strategic plan to transform AU into a world-leading, digital-first university. Imagine is a strategy which builds on AU’s rich history as an innovator and disruptor of higher education and positions it to take on the challenges of the 21st Century’s learners.
As the president of AU, the Open University of Canada, Neil aligns his passions and tireless advocacy for lifelong learning to enable adult learners and their communities to reach their highest potential through an accessible and flexible university education.
Prior to joining Athabasca University, Neil held several leadership roles at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), including provost and vice president academic, as well as dean of the JR Shaw School of Business and the School of Culinary Arts.
Throughout his academic career, Neil has strived to maintain strong connections to the communities where he serves. In his capacity as a post-secondary administrator, he has and continues to serve on boards of directors in the not-for-profit sector.
With a background in human resources and applied decision making, Neil has blended his leadership and academic careers in the areas of strategic thinking and planning, leadership, effective negotiation strategies, conflict management, and human resources.
Dr. Fassina holds a PhD in Management from the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto, a BSc in Psychology from the University of Calgary, and is a chartered professional in human resources (CPHR), and a chartered director through the Institute of Chartered Directors (ICD.D).