U of A provost to take over admin role at Alberta Health Services

A University of Alberta provost has been appointed the new official administrator of Alberta Health Services.

Carl Amrhein will replace interim official administrator Janet Davidson, the health authority announced Monday.

Amrhein has been seconded, beginning Monday, until June 30, 2015, said U of A president Indira Samarasekera, writing on the university’s official blog. Amrhein will take a seven-month administrative leave from the university before returning to his position as professor of geography in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Amrhein was serving his third term as provost and vice-president academic at the U of A.

“This is a sudden change, made in the midst of the presidential transition,� Amrhein wrote on the university’s official blog Monday afternoon.

David Turpin was appointed the 13th U of A president Friday.

Amrhein wrote his “sudden departure� will create “significant challenges� within the university’s central administration. He said the Government of Alberta contacted the university two weeks ago and asked he be seconded.

“When our government calls with such a request, the university should respond whenever possible,� he wrote.

After June 30, 2015, Amrhein wrote he plans to continue working with the provincial government, contingent on government approval, and remain a professor at the university.

“It will be a blended career,� he said.

The current official administrator of AHS will return to her role as deputy minister of Alberta Health.

Davidson took on a second executive role at AHS in September, replacing outgoing administrator Dr. John Cowell whose one-year term had ended. She previously served as the health authority’s official administrator for three months last summer.

In a statement, Health Minister Stephen Mandel thanked Davidson for stepping into the role on an interim basis, and said Amrhein brings “a wealth of experience from one of Canada’s most prestigious post-secondary institutions.�

Samarasekera wrote Amrhein has provided “instrumental leadership� throughout his 11-year tenure as provost and vice-president at the U of A.

Deputy provost Olive Yonge will serve as acting provost until an interim provost is appointed.

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