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KIP & CAF Projects

Top of The Morning To You


Just over one year ago, if you had told me that you were working on KIP and CAF, I would have assumed you were going for a power nap before perhaps tending to the needs of a small cow. (To the uninitiated, kip is London slang for short sleep) I may even have assumed that a person working on a KIP project (a kip-per) planned to have a smoked herring for breakfast. 

However, now that I have moved from the UK to Canada and have found gainful employment at Athabasca University, I know much better.

It’s probably best for me to introduce myself to you at this point, because many of you will not have any idea who I am or what I’m doing here. My name is Patrick Mears and my family arrived in Edmonton last September via Northern Ireland and some small, run-down yet charming English towns, to start a new life in a country which promises to enrich our lives and hopefully offer us exciting opportunities. And when I was offered a job at Athabasca University, working as a communication and information officer for the KIP and CAF projects, it was another adventure I just had to embark upon.

So, now I know that a KIP project is one that will improve IT infrastructure and buildings at the university. My small Irish/British brain also comprehends that a CAF project is an initiative that will lead to the digitization of courses at AU. I also know that down and outs don’t carry whiskey bottles in this country – you’re just as likely to find them holding a coffee cup. I know that buses come on time in Canada and that your French fries are terrible – they don’t taste of potato at all, and for an Irishman, that’s close to a crime. I am aware that it is fashionable to wear huge, white sneakers, Canadians really do have white teeth and gas is so cheap that motorists regularly drive through red lights in an effort to use it all up quickly. Lastly, I know that Albertans are fond of pointing out that the weather could turn dangerously cold at almost any moment.

Anyway, back to the point. I guess you have learned nothing yet from reading this blog; apart from the fact that I am not yet a true Canadian and need to be taught about your culture. So please give me a call with all your tips and advice on anything from how to hunt bears to requests for information about the KIP and CAF programs. You may even be a project worker who wishes to share a story or you may just like to correct my, as yet, British spelling. Actually, come to think of it, I should limit this to contact about CAF and KIP projects. That makes much more sense. But please get in touch. I really believe these projects can help to achieve AU’s goals and I want to make sure that the whole university and beyond knows about the Rocky Mountain avalanche of hard and exciting work that is going on here.

You can call me on 780-392-1208 or email on