Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 27, 2005
Newman names new president
Grande Prairie superintendent will head theology school
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Newman Theological College has appointed a longtime Catholic school administrator as its president for the next five years.
Bryn Kulmatycki, the former superintendent of schools for Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools, will begin his five-year term as president Aug. 1. He replaces Basilian Father Jack Gallagher, who is leaving the post after two years.
Also appointed along with Kulmatycki is city lawyer Kevin Feehan as chancellor of Newman College. He replaces Madame Justice Cecilia Johnstone in the largely ceremonial post.
Archbishop Thomas Collins announced Kulmatycki's appointment June 1. Kulmatycki, 56, has extensive experience in Catholic education as a teacher, principal and superintendent and also brings to his new position the benefit of academic formation at Newman, the University of Calgary, the University of Oregon and the University of Alberta.
"I'm really pleased to have been selected and I am certainly looking forward to all the challenges that Newman College presents," Kulmatycki said from Grande Prairie June 21.
Newman Theological College, which shares a red brick building with St. Joseph's Seminary on St. Albert Trail, prepares laity, religious, and ordained ministers for service and leadership to meet the needs of the Church in Western Canada.
Kulmatycki and his wife Shirley, a Catholic teacher, have been married for 32 years and have three adult children and two grandchildren.
The holder of a master of education degree from the University of Alberta, Kulmatycki is currently working on a doctorate in Catholic education at the University of Calgary. He also holds certificates of leadership in Catholic education from Newman College as well as other specialist certificates from the University of Oregon, Lincoln University in Nebraska and Waikato University in New Zealand.
"Catholic education interests me very much," said Kulmatycki, who decided to pursue the presidency of Newman because he wanted to move into post-secondary education. "I thought it would be a good fit for me."
A native of Vegreville who grew up in Lavoy, Kulmatycki began his education career in Wetaskiwin, where he served as teacher and principal for various Catholic and public schools for 20 years.
In 1995 he moved to Whitecourt to serve as superintendent of the Holy Trinity Catholic Regional Division. He served as superintendent of schools for Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools from 1997 until his appointment as Newman president.
"The first thing for me is to do somewhat of an orientation into the various aspects of the college," Kulmatycki said when asked about his plans for the college. "It is somewhat a complex network as if combines St. Joseph Seminary with the college."
He also plans to prepare the institution for its accreditation review with the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.
Kulmatycki has served in numerous leadership positions within various professional organizations over the years, including provincial director of the Council of Alberta School Superintendents. He has also served as director of Central Alberta Catholic Social Services and board member of Caritas Health Group, the Rotary Club, Big Brothers and Sisters, and the Lions Club as well as a volunteer for various agencies and charities.
Gallagher, the outgoing college president, was appointed for a year in 2003 but stayed for two. He said he enjoyed his time at the college even though "I don't like administration that much."
"I very much enjoyed the people here at Newman," he said. "They are wonderful people to work with. The staff, faculty and administration are terrific and very competent."
Gallagher has plans
Gallagher, 71, is moral theologian and author. When he leaves Newman some time in October or November he will head for Houston, Texas, where he plans to do research and writing on moral theology. There, he plans to complete a still unnamed book on the ethics of sex and marriage. Over the years, Gallagher has written countless articles on moral theology. His first book, The Basis for Christian Ethics, was released in 1984.
Newman improved in a number of areas under Gallagher's watch. "While I was here they clarified the financial situation and they maybe gave a bit of a boost to fundraising," he said. "Since I came our accounting is better and we moved fundraising up to a higher level."
The college also "further developed human and spiritual formation for lay students" and hired a recruitment director who Gallagher thinks will increase Newman's enrollment. "He is looking for financial help for students so I think there will be more of that available (in the future)."
Gallagher plans to stay at the college for several months after Kulmatycki comes to help with the new inculturation program for priests and "give a little help with fundraising."
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