A controversial University of Alberta billboard advertisement touting a benefit of climate change would never have been approved if proper processes were followed, the university’s president said Sunday night.President David Turpin said he reluctantly accepted the resignation of vice-president of university relations, Jacqui Tam, on Sunday after she said she approved the research advertisement. The president and other vice-presidents did not see it for approval. “I felt the ad should have been vetted by the executive team and I’m pretty sure it never would have seen the light of day,” Turpin said. The university is in the process of removing billboard advertisements that read, “Beefier barley: climate change will boost Alberta’s barley yield with less water, feeding more cattle.” It was based on research from 2017 that found Alberta barley would grow better and require less irrigation if the climate was warmer and wetter.
“The messaging on the ad called the reputation of the University of Alberta and its extensive research on climate change into question. As vice-president (university relations), I apologize for this and take responsibility,” she said, adding she was resigning immediately from the institution.