A return to Surrey for KPU’s new provost and VP academic, Sandy Vanderburgh

‘I’d always wanted to return to the West Coast,’ says Vanderburgh, currently living in Lethbridge

Dr. Sandy Vanderburgh is coming home, so to speak, to take the role of provost and vice-president academic at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU).

The former Surrey resident, now living in Lethbridge, will return here with a five-year contract for his new job, starting in May.

Vanderburgh was a sessional instructor at KPU early in his career before moving into leadership roles at post-secondary institutions in the Fraser Valley and Alberta.

Before moving on, he’d lived in Surrey for 12 years, in the Panorama area, and both of his children – a daughter and a son – were born here. This time around, he’ll live in the Morgan Crossing area, Vanderburgh said.

“I’d always wanted to return to the West Coast, and this is such a great opportunity to do that,” he told the Now-Leader in a phone call from Alberta. “I’m really excited about it, because it’s coming back to where I started, at KPU, as an instructor (in the early 1990s). KPU hired me and gave me my first crack at instructing, in Richmond at the time.”

In taking his new job, which involves managing the entire academic portfolio at KPU, Vanderburgh will replace Dr. Sal Ferreras, who served a six-year tenure at the institution.

Vanderburgh will be based at KPU’s Surrey campus, on 72nd Avenue. His appointment was announced on Wednesday, April 10.

CLICK HERE to read the news release from KPU.

Research has been a central part of Vanderburgh’s 26-year academic career, which includes more than 50 authored or co-authored articles. An area of his focus has been coastal erosion along the Pacific North West in Oregon and Washington State.

Vanderburgh says his work in Alberta, as interim vice-president academic at Medicine Hat College and as a dean at Lethbridge College, has given him a grounding in entrepreneurial and program delivery to meet industry needs, according to a KPU release.

“I’d like to focus on helping KPU be innovative in how we provide learning opportunities for students and how we provide less traditional training to students outside of degrees and diplomas, such as looking at micro-credentials and the recognition of work experience,” he stated. “This fits in really well with the changing needs of students. Students now want to have a job when they come out of post-secondary, more so than ever before.”

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