Oct. 22, 2013

Initiative to Reimagine the University launched at campus town hall

Eighteen-month process to involve broad consultation with university community
University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon leads a town hall meeting on Thursday, Oct. 17. Photo by Riley Brandt

University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon leads a town hall meeting on Thursday, Oct. 17.

Riley Brandt

More than 500 students, faculty and staff attended, or watched by live webcast, the third in a series of budget town halls on Oct. 17. Kicked off by President Elizabeth Cannon, the event included updates on the financial health and future of the university from Dru Marshall, provost and vice-president (academic) and Jake Gebert, vice-president (finance and services.)

Cannon said Eyes High continues to be the university’s guiding document. “It is key that we don’t take our eyes off our strategic priorities,” Cannon said. “Changes are happening – the government is looking at the Post-Secondary Learning Act, our Campus Alberta grants, how we budget for tuition and how we measure results – but we are blessed to be in a supportive community and are well-positioned to be an influencer in the discussion.”

Marshall announced the creation of the University Reimagined committee, to be comprised of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community leaders. The committee is expected to begin its work in the new year and will make its recommendations in time for inclusion in the 2015-16 budget.

“The committee will be broadly consultative and the university community will have input into its terms of reference,“ Marshall said, “but the three goals are clear: sustainable growth and funding for the institution; ensuring that our strategic priorities are funded; and defining the University of Calgary experience for students, faculty and staff – all in the context of building on our Eyes High objectives.”

Gebert provided an update on the current financial health of the university and the impact of several government funding scenarios for the 2015-16 budget year.

“In the past we have closed the gap between revenues and expenses with efficiencies in the way we do things, but that has come at a cost to the institution,” Gebert said. “We need to start doing things differently to sustain our financial position.”

Slides and a video of the Oct. 17 town hall, included a Q&A session moderated by President Cannon, have been posted on the Provost’s website