U.S. Professors Attracted to UBC

UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 14 | Dec.
5, 2002

By Cate Korinth

Don Krug wasn’t looking for a job change. But before
he knew it the siren call of academic flexibility had this
Wisconsin native packing up his intriguing cheese head hat
collection and moving west from Ohio State University (OSU)
to start his new job at UBC.

UBC has become a popular destination for American professors
who are seeking greater academic flexibility. So popular in
fact, that on average about one in six of the new professors
on campus is from the U.S.

Contrary to the much-talked about brain drain of Canada’s
elite to the United States, Krug is part of a recent trend
in the faculty of Education reversing the flow southward.
This year almost 30 per cent of Education’s new faculty
members have been recruited from America’s pool of top
academics. UBC’s overall average is 16 per cent.

For 23 years, the field of art education has been Krug’s

An entertaining force in the classroom, Krug sometimes wears
his Green Bay Packers cheese head hat to make a point.

“It’s a humorous way to show students the powerful
association of cultural identity and community,” he says.

Up until two months ago, Krug had a tenured position at OSU.
As part of their art education department he had excellent
funding, was surrounded by top academics in his field and
was well connected to international scholars.

So why did he give it all up?

UBC Education’s administration advocates working across
its many and varied departments. This multi-disciplinary focus
is what sold Krug on the job at UBC.

“I like the freedom this gives me to explore multi-media
and technology around education as a whole. My interest lies
in integrating technology with my teaching practice,”
Krug says.

“Collegiality is wonderful here. I’ve already begun
working with people across the faculty, as well as in Computer
Science and Distance Education,” says Krug.

Another big attraction, Krug admits, is that Vancouver is
a visually spectacular city.

“As an art educator, my visual surroundings inspire
me,” he says. “Also, I love downhill skiing and
I just went ocean kayaking for the first time in my life a
few weeks ago.”