David Stobbe /

Murray Fulton
Fellow in Co-operatives and Public Policy
Centre for the Study of Co-operatives
Professor, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
Associate Member, Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics
University of Saskatchewan
Phone: (306) 966–8507
  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley
  • BA, Oxford
  • MSc, Texas A&M
  • BSA, Saskatchewan

Murray graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1977 with a BSA in agricultural economics, receiving the Governor General’s Gold Medal. After completing his MSc in agricultural economics at Texas A&M in 1978, Murray attended Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship. Receiving his BA from Oxford in 1980, he returned to Saskatoon and joined Saskatchewan Mining Development Corporation as Director, Market Research. In 1982, he returned to university to begin his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1985, at which time he joined the University of Saskatchewan. He served as director of the Centre from 1995 to 2000 and took up the reigns for another five-year term in January 2014.

Murray’s research and teaching interests are focused in a number of areas, including industrial organization, agricultural industry analysis, co-operative theory, and community development. He is the co-author of a number of books and reports, including Canadian Agricultural Policy and Prairie Agriculture, The Changing Role of Rural Communities in an Urbanizing World, Co-operatives and Community Development, Climate for Co-operative Community Development, Economic Impact Analysis of the Co-operative Sector in Saskatchewan, and Co-operatives and Canadian Society. He has also written numerous articles and papers on industrial organization, co-operatives and agricultural policy. He has worked on research projects for the Economic Council of Canada and has served as the consultant to the Saskatchewan government and the Federal/Provincial Task Force on the Role of Co-operatives and Government in Community Development. Murray is a past member of Saskatoon Credit Union’s board of directors.

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Brett Fairbairn
Fellow in Co-operative History and Governance
Centre for the Study of Co-operatives
Professor, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
University of Saskatchewan
Phone: (306) 966–8505
  • DPhil, Oxford
  • BA Honours, Oxford
  • BA, Saskatchewan

Brett joined the Centre in 1986 after graduating with a DPhil from Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship. He served as director from 2000–2004, at which point he became head of the History Department. He was university provost and vice-president academic from July 2008 until June 2014. From July 2015 to June 2016, he became acting director of the Centre again while Centre Director Murray Fulton was on sabbatical.

Brett’s research and teaching are concerned with the history and interdisciplinary study of democracy, social movements, and co‑operative enterprises in Canada and around the world. He has more than eighty publications, including his most recent, Co-operative Canada: Empowering Communities and Sustainable Businesses, edited with Nora Russell. Brett models his scholarship on the idea of engagement between the academic world and the real-life issues of organizations and communities. He is a strong believer in the duty of citizens to participate in volunteer organizations and has held many leadership roles in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan. In recognition of his public and scholarly contributions, Brett was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.

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Lou Hammond Ketilson
Fellow in Co-operative Management
Centre for the Study of Co-operatives
Adjunct Professor, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
University of Saskatchewan
Phone: (306) 966–5844
  • PhD, Saskatchewan
  • MBA, Saskatchewan
  • BA Honours, Saskatchewan
Lou has been with the Centre since 1985 and also holds an adjunct professorship in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. Her research interests include management in co-operatives and other democratic organizations, community development, women in co-operatives, Aboriginal co-op development, and diversity on co-op boards and governance bodies. Lou served a five-year term as associate dean in the then College of Commerce (now Edwards School of Business) and then returned to the Centre as acting director of the Centre in July 2004. She assumed the formal directorship in April 2005, a position she held until December 2013. In January 2014, Lou passed the director’s wand to Murray Fulton and she remains active at the Centre in her capacity as Centre Fellow in Co-operative Management.

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Michael Gertler
Fellow in Community and Co-operative Development
Centre for the Study of Co-operatives
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology College of Arts and Science
University of Saskatchewan
Phone: (306) 966–8501

  • PhD, Cornell
  • MSc, McGill
  • BES, Waterloo

Michael joined the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives in 1996 and is a faculty member with the Department of Sociology, where he teaches the sociology of communities and community development, rural sociology, environmental sociology, and the sociology of agriculture and food. He is an associate member of the School of Environment and Sustainability and serves on the management board of the Community-University Institute for Social Research as well as on the advisory committee for the interdisciplinary program in Regional and Urban Planning. He has served in various capacities with the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation and the Rural Sociological Society.

Michael’s research focuses on organizational innovations and knowledge practices that support sustainable resource use, livelihoods, and communities. Through participation in field research in Canada, the USA, Haiti, Costa Rica, and Mongolia, he has contributed to the study of many kinds of co-operatives, agro-food industry restructuring, the organic sector, and rural diversification. His current research focuses on the political economy of organic farming, on the restructuring of community pasture systems, and on co-operative arrangements for managing the grazing commons.

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Isobel Findlay
Fellow in Co-operatives, Diversity, and Sustainable Development
Centre for the Study of Co-operatives
Professor Emerita, University of Saskatchewan
Phone: (306) 966–2385
  • PhD, McGill
  • MA, Saskatchewan
  • MA, Aberdeen

Isobel recently retired as a professor of Management and Marketing at the Edwards School of Business, where she taught and published widely on business communications, co-operative studies, Aboriginal entrepreneurship, and law and culture. She has special research interests in communications, cultures, and communities; diversity in the workplace; Aboriginal and associative organizations; partnerships and governance; and corporate social responsibility, performance indicators, and reporting standards.

She is university co-director of the Community-University Institute for Social Research, and recently completed work on the SSHRC-funded project “Animating the Mi’kmaq Humanities in Atlantic Canada.” She is working with Liz Quinlan, Beth Bilson, and Ann-Marie Urban on “Workplace Harassment among Caregivers: Fostering Communicative Action and Ethical Practice through Participatory Theatre.”

Isobel works closely with community groups, non-profits, and the public and private sectors designing and conducting research to promote and support economic development, community entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability. She has served on and chaired boards, run her own business, and facilitated workshops for a variety of businesses and organizations. A proud recipient of a University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union Teaching Excellence Award, she is also co-winner of the Saskatchewan Book Awards Scholarly Writing Award 2000.

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Eric Micheels
Fellow in Agribusiness Co-operatives
Centre for the Study of Co-operatives
Assistant Professor, Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics
College of Agriculture and Bioresources
University of Saskatchewan
Phone: 306–966–8411

  • PhD, Illinois
  • MSc, Illinois
  • BSc, Wisconsin-River Falls

Eric’s research interests lie at the intersection of agribusiness management and agricultural finance.  Currently, he is interested in how dynamic capabilities affect managerial decision making and firm performance for agribusiness firms.

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Dionne Pohler
Fellow in Co-operative Strategy and Governance, Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, University of Saskatchewan
Assistant Professor, Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources
University of Toronto
Phone: 416–978–2927

  • BComm, Dalhousie
  • PhD, Alberta

Dionne’s research includes understanding the effect of employment regulations, the HR profession, strategy, compensation, HR practices, and unions on a variety of employee and organizational outcomes. Other research projects include: examining governance successes and failures in large co-operatives; comparing the consequences of alternative organizational governance arrangements; and exploring the governance challenges in the credit union sector. Dionne was also one of the primary researchers on the Co-operative Innovation Project based at the University of Saskatchewan, a two-year, $1 million initiative aimed at understanding the barriers to co-op development in western Canadian rural and Aboriginal communities.

In 2016, Dionne was a founding board member of Co-operatives First, a non-profit organization dedicated to working with rural and Aboriginal communities in western Canada to explore co-operative solutions to community needs. During 2015–16, she also worked closely with tribal councils, independent First Nations, and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, to set up an Indigenous technical services co-operative in Saskatchewan.

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