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- Pedersen, Knud George
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George Pedersen is a Canadian academic administrator. He was the president of Simon Fraser University (1979 to 1983), University of British Columbia (1983 to 1985), University of Western Ontario (1985 to 1994), interim president of the University of Northern British Columbia (for three months between Geoffrey Weller and Charles Jago), and founding president of Royal Roads University (1995-). He served as chancellor of the University of Northern British Columbia from 1998 until 1999. As chancellor, he has given degrees to 3,100 UNBC graduates.
Born in Three Creeks, Alberta, Pedersen received his B.A. from the University of British Columbia, an M.A. from the University of Washington, and his Ph.D. in Education from the University of Chicago in 1968. In 1992, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for being "devoted to the cause of higher education." In 1994, he was awarded the Order of Ontario. In 2002, he was awarded the Order of British Columbia. In 2005, he was appointed Chair of the Board of Governors of Emily Carr Institute.
His career in education began as a school teacher in North Vancouver in 1952, and within a decade he was promoted to principal at both the elementary and secondary levels. The draw of further studies took him far from home, to the University of Chicago, where he completed his PhD and earned ten scholarships in the process. He laid the groundwork for Simon Fraser University’s downtown campus, engaged in bitter battles over adequate post-secondary funding, and passionately advocated for greater aboriginal access to university, for which he was honoured by the Nisga’a.
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