Doug Goss resigns as University of Alberta chairman

Three months after he warned Edmontonians not to vote for the NDP, Doug Goss announced he is stepping down as chairman of the University of Alberta board of governors.

Goss urged people not to vote NDP in last election

Doug Goss (right) talked to the media on May 8 after the University of Alberta Board of Governors voted to let him stay on as chairman. (John Archer/CBC News )

Three months after he warned Edmontonians not to vote for the NDP, Doug Goss announced he is stepping down as chairman of the University of Alberta board of governors.

"In ensuring that the right president is in place, I feel that I have fulfilled one of the most important roles of board chair," Goss said in a written statement released Tuesday.

"My attention, in recent weeks, has been increasingly focused on how I can best contribute as a volunteer going forward, and specifically on the upcoming capital campaign.

"After a great deal of thought I have decided to step aside as board chair effective August 31, 2015, and refocus my energies on helping prepare for what will be the largest campaign in this university's history."

Goss became the board chairman in February 2012. In the same news release, Innovation and Advanced Education Minister Lori Sigurdson wished him well and thanked him for his service.

Goss raised eyebrows four days before the provincial election when he and four other Edmonton business leaders urged people not to vote for the NDP because of its plan to raise corporate taxes.

One of the five, NPO Zero CEO Ashif Mawji suggested the tax increase would force companies to stop donating to charities and the Stollery Childrens Hospital.

All five men were donors to the provincial Progressive Conservative party.

Critics felt that Goss should not have taken part in the news conference because of his leadership role at the University of Alberta.

Their message stirred up intense backlash on social media. The Alberta NDP won a majority government on May 5.  

On May 8, the university's board of governors voted to keep Goss on as chairman while David Turpin took over the president's office from Indira Samarasekera

At the time, Goss vowed to work with then premier-elect Rachel Notley and the new government. He also expressed regret for speaking out during the election.

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