Peter Fourlaris: How many years have you been the President here at Concordia?
Dr. Krispin: It’s my 29th year at Concordia, 9 years as President, and 20 years as a religious studies professor.
What are some of your job responsibilities as President?
Taking responsibility for anything and everything that happens at Concordia, and assembling a good team of individuals who can make this place run. We have an amazing group of individuals that work together in a collegial way. The responsibility of my job is to create the best environment for students.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love convocation because of the excitement of students who have actually achieved what they have set out to do. I enjoy the whole experience of the convocation event. Second to convocation is student orientation, looking at the anticipation of students planning to come to our University. Thirdly, is actually walking through Tegler, and walking through the halls and seeing the dynamic of students actually thriving at Concordia.
What is the biggest change you have seen at Concordia since you became President?
The biggest change happened quite recently, when Concordia’s board decided that we would no longer operate as a religiously based institution, but operate, as we functionally were anyways, as a University serving since we are basically publically funded as is. So basically, the biggest change is to actually do what we have always been doing, but at the same time, making it very visible that we are Concordia University of Edmonton. And that’s the other change, having worked very diligently, and for many years to take us from being Concordia University College of Alberta to becoming Concordia University of Edmonton in the sense of being Edmonton’s University. Actually having Concordia being seen as Edmonton’s University is still a process, but ultimately, becoming Edmonton’s University is where I want Concordia to be.
Can you tell the reader something about yourself that most people would not know?
That the first Vinyl LP that I bought was Led Zeppelin II, and the second one I bought was Black Sabbath, and I’ve never ceased loving that music. I continue to love everything from heavy metal to country music, but my love for rock music in the way of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, still continues.
What is your dream vacation spot?
Nelson, British Columbia. Why Nelson? It’s got the greatest roads for riding a motorcycle anywhere, especially the stretch from Kaslo to New Denver, and going back along that route. Its great motorcycle riding, I love twisty highways. Especially since we’re here in Alberta where everything is straight.
What is your all time favorite movie?
I will say Harvey (1950). If you don’t know what Harvey is, it’s about a big rabbit. It stars Jimmy Stewart as somebody who sees this 6-foot tall rabbit that nobody else can see. It’s a play made into a movie, and it’s just very nice.
If you could have any superpower, what would you choose, and why?
I think most people have had flying dreams, so I think most people who would want a super-power would want to fly. It’s just because it seems like it could get you anywhere, and it seems like a really cool thing to be able to do.
Do you have any advice for students that you would like to share?
Success at university, to some degree is the result of one’s abilities, but ultimately, it is about disciplining yourself, working on things and getting things done. It’s about perseverance, and the ability to persevere in the midst of everything. It’s a tough grind, only the people who have never been to university say ‘wait until you get in the real world,’ because they don’t realize just how incredibly demanding, and incredibly tiring university is. My advice is to persevere through the midst of everything and to seek the help that is available to you because you are here to learn.
Thank-you very much Dr. Krispin for a fantastic interview. I think I speak on behalf of all students when I say that we truly appreciate the great work and vision that you have for Concordia.
On a personal note, thank-you, Concordia for a great four years, I will be graduating in May, and this is my last column for the Bolt. I really appreciate all of the warm receptions I have received for my articles. I will always carry these four years at Concordia with me wherever I go, so thank-you again for the best years of my life.