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Campus community celebrates Eyes High progress

Community Report highlights accomplishments and growing momentum
September 26, 2014
At the halfway mark in its Eyes High strategic direction, the University of Calgary achieved top-five status in 20 of 40 metrics. The message was part of the Community Report event on the main campus Thursday. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

At the halfway mark in its Eyes High strategic direction, the University of Calgary achieved top-five status in 20 of 40 metrics. The message was part of the Community Report event on the main campus Thursday. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

President Elizabeth Cannon led students, faculty and staff in a celebration of accomplishments today as part of the first of three Community Report events. Events will also be held at the Foothills campus on Oct. 1 and the downtown campus on Oct. 6.

“We are proud to deliver Community Report each year as a means of showcasing the many accomplishments that have been made by this dynamic institution and our community of supporters,” says Cannon. “We have made incredible progress on our journey to achieve the ambitious goals set out in our Eyes High strategic direction. We are definitely on the right track and I want to thank everyone for the effort and dedication you have shown and for making this great journey possible.”

The 36-page Community Report publication is the third in a series, highlighting tangible evidence of excellence in all facets of our institution.

Cannon cited a host of recent awards, chairs and fellowships, as well as the recent jump in the University of Calgary’s QS world rankings into the top 10 young universities in the world. She also highlighted an impressive $325 million received this year in sponsored research income; record annual fundraising of $129 million; and significant progress to advance our international strategy. She said the university has made great strides to enhance the student experience, including construction of two new student residences and the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, along with the launch of the UCalgaryStrong initiative. The university’s recent Certificate of Recognition designation, issued by the Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour, points to our health and safety leadership in Alberta and establishes the university as the first in Canada to receive this recognition.

This year, Community Report also includes a detailed and transparent description of how the University of Calgary is performing against each of 40 current performance metrics, including why these metrics were selected and how they contribute to the Eyes High strategic direction. These measures — some of which only yield data every few years — assess both quantitative and qualitative dimensions, reflecting different facets of our institution and providing comparative data against peer institutions. Metrics are benchmarked against the top five research institutions in Canada including the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, Université de Montreal, McGill University and the University of Alberta.

“We are at the halfway mark in our Eyes High journey, and already we have achieved top-five status in 20 of 40 metrics,” says Cannon. “This represents tremendous progress and is especially remarkable given that some of these metrics were always meant to be stretch targets, reflective of the ambitious goals we have set for ourselves.

“Even more than our place within the rankings or our status related to our performance metrics, it’s the energy, enthusiasm and commitment to succeed that I see emanating throughout our university community,” adds Cannon. “Momentum is building with an increased sense of pride, achievement and excitement. I would urge everyone in our university community to embrace the celebration and, collectively, continue our journey!”

Cannon noted that our approach to the Eyes High strategic direction has been disciplined and intentional and has yielded exciting research developments, a renewed focus on high-quality academic program delivery, continuous improvement of the student, faculty and staff experience, a strong financial foundation, and enhanced service delivery.

“We are benchmarking against the top-five universities in Canada and there are a few metrics where we may not achieve top-five status, due to the sheer size of the comparative institutions. As their performance increases, this raises the challenge but are still worthy metrics to strive towards as part of our Eyes High journey.”

See the Community Report website for more details.

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