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Photo by Mariah Wilson

U of C release presidential candidate profile, application period draws to a close

By Matty Hume, July 18 2018 —

In a message from University of Calgary Board of Governors (BOG) chair Jill Wyatt, BOG announced they released a presidential candidate profile for those interested in succeeding U of C president Elizabeth Cannon following her resignation effective Dec. 31, 2018.

“We expect to be able to name the successful candidate in the fall,” Wyatt said in the public message. “The presidential search and appointment policy makes provision for the timely appointment of an interim president, should the final candidate not be available to begin in January 2019.”

The presidential profile comes nearly four months after then-BOG chair Gordon Ritchie announced the replacement process was underway, which included filling the positions of the Presidential Search Committee.

According to the Presidential Search Appointment Policy, the Presidential Search Committee is a temporary committee designed to conduct the presidential replacement process.

It also outlines that compensation for the incoming president will be developed and recommended by the Executive Committee of BOG in conjunction with human resources, “consistent with all legal requirements.”

One such legal requirement is the Alberta New Democratic Party’s newly implemented salary cap for post-secondary executives. Under the new regulations, which came into effect on April 10, the next U of C president can earn a maximum salary of $447,000, with up to about 20 per cent of their base salary in benefits. In 2017, Cannon took home $898,000 including non-cash benefits.

As outlined in the Presidential Search Committee, the committee is composed of a chair, a vice-chair and 13 voting members. The current membership of the presidential search committee, which includes Students’ Union president Sagar Grewal, is available here.

The presidential candidate profile itself is a comprehensive document, with content ranging from a glowing description of the City of Calgary to required education, experience, and “professional competencies.”

The profile often refers to entrepreneurship as a defining quality of the U of C.

“In a city that is actively reinventing itself, we see ourselves as catalysts of change and calculated risk-takers,” reads the introduction to the profile. “In this context, our next president and vice-chancellor will be a passionate champion of the society-shaping role of universities and of UCalgary’s ambitious journey to become Canada’s most entrepreneurial university.”

The profile continues with a letter from Wyatt, highlighting the university’s accolades and saying the ideal presidential candidate will “benefit from (and appreciate)” the Eyes High strategy.

A list of rankings and accolades follows, including “Top 200 universities worldwide and #7 in Canada, Center for World University Rankings (CWUR), 2018” and “Top 200 universities worldwide, Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) [ShanghaiRanking Consultancy] and top 10 in Canada, 2017.”

According the QS World University Rankings based in London, England, the U of C is ranked 229th.

The profile then briefly highlights the accomplishments of the U of C Dinos athletics program, before outlining the Eyes High strategy. The strategy sections ends with the subheadline, “Our take on entrepreneurial thinking.”

“Entrepreneurial thinking is essential to enriching lives and advancing society,” reads the profile.

Following pages on the U of C’s International Strategy, Indigenous Strategy and a profile of Calgary itself, the document describes the actual role of president and vice-chancellor. The profile says the president will hold accountability for “developing and maintaining productive relationships with all stakeholders,” “expanding private and public funding” and serving as a “champion of the university brand position.”

The profile states the educational requirement for the position as a “doctorate degree or equivalent terminal degree.”

The profile also outlines ideal professional competencies and personal characteristics. The professional competencies include, “act with integrity and respect” and “focus on results.” Personal characteristics include “transparency” and “emotional intelligence.”

The U of C is conducting the replacement with an external executive search firm, DHR International. The profile directs all applications to a DHR email, UCalgaryPresident@DHRInternational.com. Applications close on July 31. In the case of a failed search, the BOG Executive Committee can appoint an interim president.

“If required, the Executive Committee will select and appoint an interim President under terms and conditions of employment approved by the Executive Committee,” reads the Presidential Search Appointment Policy.

According to the Presidential Search Committee Terms of Reference, the committee is required to provide the public with updates regarding the hiring process at regular intervals. Stay updated on the search for a new U of C president here.

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