June 29, 2022

Jackie Sieppert appointed as interim director of The School of Public Policy

A message from Teri Balser, provost and vice-president (academic)
Jackie Sieppert
Jackie Sieppert

Dear colleagues, 

I am pleased to let you know that Dr. Jackie Sieppert has accepted to serve as interim director of The School of Public Policy (SPP) from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2022.  

Dr. Sieppert previously served two terms as dean of the Faculty of Social Work and is taking on this new role after returning from his earned administrative leave. His contributions as dean had a big impact not only within that faculty but also across our institution, city, province, and even nationally.

He is well known in our university community as he joined the University of Calgary in 1993 as a professor in the Faculty of Social Work. He is also an alumnus, holding a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Social Work from the University of Calgary. His PhD in social work is from Arizona State University.   

One of his primary areas of scholarship is storytelling, and during his leave he relaunched his research program, focusing on emerging narrative methods and digital storytelling. He also used his administrative leave to give attention back to his teaching practice by redeveloping course approaches, outlines, modules, and assignments.

In addition to working on multiple book projects and securing new grants to support his research, Dr. Sieppert provided leadership for several transformative projects in the non-profit sector. Finally, he also provided support in the SPP itself in concert with Human Resources, which well positions him to step into this interim role. 

I would also like to acknowledge Peter MacKinnon who has served in this role during the past year and who has provided guidance and support for the School, including a refresh of the School leadership. That leadership team will play a key role in ensuring a smooth transition and moving the School forward. Peter’s experience provided valuable insight as he guided the School through a challenging year coming through COVID-19.   

The search for the next director is underway and the Advisory Search Committee that I am chairing continues to do its work. The appointment of a new director is a significant decision and thus we are taking the time to ensure it is done right. As I have said on many occasions, The School of Public Policy is a well-respected organization and brand, known across Canada and beyond, and I’m personally committed to doing right by it through thoughtful, thorough process. Further information on the search can be found on the search web page.  

Please join me in welcoming Jackie into his new role at The School of Public Policy and in thanking Peter MacKinnon for the work he has done over the past year for SPP.   

Teri Balser  
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)