The world lost a good man yesterday with the passing of former University of Regina president Lloyd Barber (Global Regina).
I knew Barber when I worked on The Carillon in the mid 1980s. It was an ugly time in the university’s history, as Barber pushed through a plan to increase the niche markets that the U of R would service, ranging from helping midwife what’s now the First Nations University of Canada to the School of Journalism and Communications, at a time when the U of S considered itself top dog and would use its influence in the public and the alumni within the Saskatchewan senior civil service to protect its own financial interests. Given the circumstances, it’s amazing he was able to get as far with his plans for the university as he did.
Another good thing about Barber was that he earned the respect — and gave his respect — to the student representatives on the U of R board of governors, and to the student media. The Carillon never had any problems getting a quote from Lloyd Barber, even after I covered his drunk driving conviction in the winter of 1983. And he had a lot of respect for the activists on the student council — people such as Lyndon Surjik, Sue Sorenson, and Sean Caragata — if only because by asking questions about how the university was run, and the relationship between the university and the provincial government, they stood a good chance of earning the type of education they wouldn’t necessarily receive in class.
A memorial service for Dr. Barber goes Thursday afternoon, starting at 2 p.m., at the main CKHS gymnasium.