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New Directions
(1945 - 1960)



In January, 1947, the University Board of Governors announced six appointments – including that of Dr. W.H.Johns as Executive Assistant to President Robert Newton with an annual salary of $4,500.  The appointment, however, did not take effect until August, 1947.  Dr. Johns was to play a major role in the development (and growth) of both the University in general and, more specifically, the School of Commerce.

Dr. Johns was instrumental in appointing Hu Harries to the Director’s position in the School of Commerce who, in turn, was to provide the leadership required to bring about major changes in Commerce.  In June, 1947, President Newton wrote to Mrs. J.M.Forbes, Provincial Education Secretary for the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE).  In his letter, President Newton asked that Hu Harries be allowed to postpone his doctoral studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science in order to assist the U. of A.’s Department of Political Economy with their staffing requirements.  He stated:  “I hesitate to ask this favour, but our need is very great during this period when students are crowding in upon us in unprecedented numbers.  Would your committee be willing to help us out in this emergency without detriment to Mr. Harries’ future prospects?”

This postponement was granted, and Hu Harries retained his staff position.  He was appointed to The Department of Political Economy in the Fall of 1947.  Hu, as will be seen later, became a prime mover in changing not only the content of the program but bringing it to Faculty status.
[UAA, 68-1, 3/4/4/2/1-20, Box 13]

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“The idea conveyed by the word Commerce is that of growth and expansion. Though the School of Commerce here is as yet very young, it is a lusty infant whose membership is growing by leaps and bounds, as an increasing proportion of new students turn their eyes toward the extensive and varied field of business. Technically we are but a sub-faculty; yet in spirit we are already more, and the time is undoubtedly near when we shall be regarded as equals by the five older faculties of the University…”

- Evergreen and Gold
September 1930