'Public Protection is the Reason I'm Here' Dr. Norman Wagner Says the
APEGGA Mission Spells Out His Role
There's a key justification for Dr. Norman Wagner's presence around the
APEGGA Council table. And it's right there in the Association's Mission,
the part about protecting the public.
"I think that's the issue. That's the role I have on Council,"
the Calgary resident told The PEGG after his first meeting of a three-year
appointment. "If that wasn't there, I wouldn't have accepted the
The perspective he brings to meetings, said Dr. Wagner, 66, is that of
both an academic and a business person, but one with no vested interest
in the APEGGA professions. "I'm willing to do my part, but as sort
of an outsider. I'm not an engineer or a geoscientist. I'm strictly a
representative of the public."
He does, however, have plenty of experience in group decision-making.
"I've dealt with issues of governance, funding and government. That's
something that may or may not be important."
Dr. Wagner was president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary
from 1978 to 1988. From 1962 to 1978, his academic career was in Eastern
Canada at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. -- first as professor
of near Eastern languages, literature and archaeology, and then as dean
of graduate studies and research.
The private sector beckoned in 1988, and Dr. Wagner became chairman of
the board of Alberta Natural Gas Co. Ltd. In 1991, he became chairman,
president and chief executive officer of the company, leaving in 1994.
From 1996 to 2000, Dr. Wagner was president of the Corporate-Higher Education
Forum, and is now chairman and CEO of knowledge@work, chairman of the
Terry Fox Humanitarian Award Program, and chairman of the board of Knowledge
Dr. Wagner has a wide range experience in public service as well. Among
his past positions are chairman of the Canadian Museum of Nature, chairman
of the Alberta Universities Coordinating Council, chairman of the Council
of Western Canadian University Presidents, a director on the organizing
committee of the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, a founding trustee
of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, and founder of
the Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
He is an officer of the Order of Canada, President Emeritus of the University
of Calgary, has an honorary law degree from Wilfrid Laurier, and is honorary
patron of Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francaise, Jerusalem, the Library
Now he has APEGGA councillor to add to his resume, where he joins mid-term
public members Hugh Planche and Judy Williams. "I thought it was
very interesting," Dr. Wagner said after his first Council meeting.
"I'm just trying to feel my way and find out what it's all about."
Born in Edenwold, Sask., Dr. Wagner received his bachelor of arts with
a major in divinity from the University of Saskatchewan in 1958. He received
his master's in 1960 and his Ph.D. in 1965, in near eastern studies, both
from the University of Toronto.
He and his wife, Catherine, have three children and one grandchild.
Dr. Norman Wagner