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

U.S. Professors Attracted to UBC

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 passion.

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.”

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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