Canadian university appoints Malaysian-born entrepreneur as chancellor

Andy Sidhu, founder of Canada's first multi-language newspaper Punjabi Patrika, worked on a dairy farm when he moved to Canada in 1974. And now more than four decades later...

Andy Sidhu: Founder of Canada’s first multi-language newspaper Punjabi Patrika made chancellor at University of Fraser Valley – Photo courtesy of UFV

Andy Sidhu, an accountant by trade before emigrating from Malaysia in 1974 and now a respected business leader in Canada, has been made the third chancellor of University of the Fraser Valley (UFV).

After moving from Malaysia to Canada, Sidhu worked first on a dairy farm, then as a bookkeeper with the Canada Farm Labour Pool, where over the course of his 21 year career he became an unofficial ambassador, bridging gaps in culture and language between local businesses and people emigrating from the Punjab.

Andy is best known for founding the Punjabi Patrika, badged as North America’s first Punjabi-English newspaper. Run by Punjabi Patrika Media Ltd, the first British Columbia’s (BC) the print version of the newspaper comes out in Fridays in English and Punjabi.

In an announcement on the university’s website, Andy has been described as a ‘long-time proponent of community engagement and integration’.

SEE ALSO: Meet the first university chaplain for Sikh students in Canada

SEE ALSO: Meet the first university chaplain for Sikh students in Canada

“I’m extremely honoured and proud to join the University of the Fraser Valley in this capacity,” Andy said in the statement. “UFV has a rich history of in inclusivity and community leadership. Needless to say I’m very excited to contribute as we move forward together.”

Located just east of Vancouver, BC, UFV is a fully accredited, public university that enrolls about 15,000 students per year. It has campuses and locations in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, Hope and Agassiz, and a growing presence in Chandigarh, India, according to information on its website.

Last year, University of Calgary (UCVM) appointed Dr Baljit Singh as dean of its Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. In January 2017, UK journalist and broadcaster Ranvir Singh was appointed as the third chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

As chancellor, Andy will act as ceremonial head of UFV while serving as a member of the Board of Governors and the Senate. He will also preside over convocation, conferring UFV degrees, diplomas, and certificates, and serve as an ambassador for UFV at major events, the UFV report said.

The chancellor is appointed by the UFV Board of Governors upon the recommendation of the Alumni Association and consultation with the UFV Senate. UFV started the practice of appointing a Chancellor after receiving university status in 2008.

“By recommending him as UFV’s next Chancellor, the Alumni Association sought to recognize Andy Sidhu as a hard-working and community driven business leader who will serve as an excellent role model for our students,” said UFV Alumni Association chair Nav Bains, in the same report. Original report: Andy Sidhu named new Chancellor of UFV (UFV Today, 11 Dec 2017)

In addition to making financial donations to local health care and recreational initiatives, it noted that Andy has volunteered with more than a dozen groups, including the UFV South Asian Studies Institute, the Abbotsford Foundation, Indo-Canadian Business Association, Abbotsford Community Services, and Abbotsford Hospice.

He takes over from Dr. Gwen Point.


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