For nearly five decades, Athabasca University has been an innovator in higher education. It is a world leader in distance learning, helping to break down barriers to a better life for tens of thousands of students who might otherwise not have access to advanced education.

But in the town of Athabasca, the university plays another vital role. As the town’s largest employer, AU is a cornerstone of the local economy.

Nearly 500 AU employees live and work here. They shop in local stores, purchase local services, pay local taxes and are an integral part of the community fabric. AU employees contribute an estimated $30 million a year to the local economy.

That’s why we’re calling on the Alberta government to commit to keeping AU viable and headquartered in Athabasca. We believe that if the province demonstrates this leadership, AU can become an even stronger institution and more powerful economic generator for the region.

Please sign the online petition supporting Athabasca University and the local economy. Tell your family and friends. The signatures gathered will be presented to Innovation and Advanced Education Minister Lori Sigurdson.