University of Calgary

University of Calgary

September 28, 2011 15:15 ET

University of Calgary lifts its Eyes High

New strategy aims for top five status by the university's 50th anniversary in 2016

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 28, 2011) - The University of Calgary today released its new strategic direction, a bold and ambitious vision to become one of Canada's top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community of Calgary, by the university's 50th anniversary in 2016.

The strategy was developed through Project Next, a months-long, campus-wide strategy planning process that reached out to the entire university community – students, faculty, and staff – and to alumni and leaders in the city of Calgary.

The result is Eyes High – a collective strategic direction for the next five years that belongs to everyone at the university.

"I would like to thank the thousands of people in our community and beyond who shared their aspirations, goals and values for the University of Calgary through the most extensive consultation process ever undertaken on our campus," said Elizabeth Cannon, President. "We saw and heard at every turn the pride and genuine desire to make this a truly great university. And we learned that we are a community and a city of courageous thinkers and leaders, and that we are determined to look far up and to dream very big."

The essence of the strategy is a statement that defines the university's future direction:

The University of Calgary will be a global intellectual hub located in Canada's most enterprising city. In this spirited, high-quality learning environment, students will thrive in programs made rich by research and hands-on experiences. By our 50th anniversary in 2016, we will be one of Canada's top five research universities, fully engaging the communities we both serve and lead.

The strategy statement is supported by three foundational commitments:

  1. Sharpen focus on research and scholarship;
  2. Enrich the quality and breadth of learning;
  3. Fully integrate the university with the community.

The strategy also articulates eight core values shared by the university community: curiosity; support; collaboration; communication; sustainability; globalization; balance; and excellence.

With the strategic direction established, the next step for the university is to develop the roadmap to reach its goals and realize its potential.

"I look forward to the years ahead, working with everyone in the community to transform the strategy into concrete action, and to advance the University of Calgary on the national and international stage" added Cannon. "I am extremely proud to lead a university with such a daring vision for the future."

To read the full Eyes High strategy document and for more information visit: www.ucalgary.ca/eyeshigh

Looking for a U of C expert for a story? Try our Experts Online: www.ucalgary.ca/experts

Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary

University Relations: Backgrounder

Eyes High: Setting our sights on the future

The ambitious vision to become a top five research university in Canada, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community of Calgary, was the result of a campus-wide strategic planning process that reached out to the entire university community and alumni and leaders in the city of Calgary.

Called Project Next, the unique and collaborative effort was launched in January 2011 by University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon. The result is Eyes High – a collective strategic direction for the next five years, leading to the university's 50th anniversary in 2016.

Original Planning Process

Faculty members in the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business tailored an original strategy planning process. They crafted a contemporary approach designed to energize and focus the University of Calgary community.

The strategic process incorporated expertise, consultation, debate and analysis. Participants examined competitive advantages and trade-offs, and were asked to be realistic about what is, and is not, possible.

The first stage of the process involved gathering input from thousands of community members through a wide range of activities including:

  • Six weeks of in-person conversations and more than 1,500 visits to a roving booth set up in locations around campus;
  • 25 small group workshops led by senior faculty members and university staff, attended by approximately 500 students, faculty, staff and community members;
  • Three months of input gathered from the Project Next website, Twitter feed and Facebook page, including 4,000 website visitors and 1,300 votes on a "Question of the Week" series.

Input gathered between January and March was combined with information from leading academic, government, business and non-profit sources and distilled into themes that identified strategic opportunities and potential goals for the University of Calgary over the next five years. The results were summarized in a strategy statement and document that defines the University of Calgary's future direction.

Strategy Statement

The University of Calgary will be a global intellectual hub located in Canada's most enterprising city. In this spirited, high-quality learning environment, students will thrive in programs made rich by research and hands-on experiences. By our 50th anniversary in 2016, we will be one of Canada's top five research universities, fully engaging the communities we both serve and lead.

The statement is supported by three foundational commitments that will guide faculties, programs and business units across the university as they work towards achieving the university's strategic direction:

  1. Sharpen focus on research and scholarship;
  2. Enrich the quality and breadth of learning;
  3. Fully integrate the university with the community.

The strategy also articulates eight core values shared by the university community: curiosity; support; collaboration; communication; sustainability; globalization; balance; and excellence.

Project Next Strategy Steering Committee

Project Next was led by a Strategy Steering Committee comprised of a cross-section of the university community, including students, faculty, staff and administration. Members of the committee were:

  • Keith Dobson, Chair, Strategy Steering Committee, and Professor, Psychology
  • Barb McCutcheon, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) Representative
  • James Lange, Graduate Students' Association Representative
  • Lauren Webber and Dylan Jones, Students' Union Representatives
  • Anne Stalker, The University of Calgary Faculty Association (TUCFA) Representative
  • Don Barker, Management and Professional Staff (MaPS) Representative
  • Leslie Reid, Faculty Representative
  • Josephine Hill, Faculty Representative
  • Kevin McQuillan, Dean's Council Representative
  • Tom Feasby, Dean's Council Representative

Ex officio members:

  • Loren Falkenberg, Associate Dean (Research), Haskayne School of Business
  • Jim Dewald, Associate Dean (Graduate Programs), Haskayne School of Business
  • Elizabeth Osler, University Secretary and Associate General Counsel
  • Jo-Ann Bance, Executive Director, Office of the President
  • Bruce Evelyn, Vice Provost, Planning and Resource Allocation

Eyes High

Eyes High was chosen to launch the University of Calgary's new strategic direction for two reasons. First, Eyes High builds upon the university's proud history: the University of Calgary motto is "I Will Lift Up My Eyes." Secondly, Eyes High reflects the determination of the university community and the citizens of Calgary to look far up and to dream very big. When your eyes are high, you reach for the stars.

Contact Information

  • University of Calgary
    Grady Semmens
    Associate Director – Media Relations
    403.220.7722 or Cell: 403.651.2515
    gsemmens@ucalgary.ca