May 11, 2021

What does it take to be a great research university?

A message from President and Vice-Chancellor Ed McCauley

I’m writing to share the next steps of Growth through Focus — our 10-year vision for cementing the University of Calgary as a great research university at the heart of its community and achieving our Eyes High ambitions for exceptional student, faculty and staff experiences.

Today, we are releasing the Framework for Growth, a proposal to the General Faculties Council that distils the work of the past year — including feedback from Congress — into 15 principles and focuses for future growth at our university.


This framework is the next step in a process we began last June and incorporates changes as a result of our February Congress. Notably, it introduces a fifth area of focus (one related to social change and equity, development of which is being led by Provost Teri Balser) and codifies principles that strengthen the place of Indigenous reconciliation, equity, diversity and inclusion, academic freedom, and broad-based research endeavours.

If approved, the framework will serve as the formal definition of the university’s aspirational intent, provide a common understanding of our approach and set the parameters under which future initiatives for growth will be considered. It will serve as the starting point for individual initiatives for growth — initiatives such as the Partnership Playbook and new supports for transdisciplinary activity. These initiatives would still follow routing and approval stages set out in the University of Calgary’s governance processes.

The framework and accompanying material — including a timeline of activities to date and materials from Congress including the What We Heard report — can be found at

Great research universities do not happen by accident. They are the result of talented people sharing a focus on building something more than the sum of its parts. Working together, we can build upon — and expand — the opportunities that already exist at the University of Calgary and with our community.

Thank you, and I look forward to us continuing this important work.

Ed McCauley
President and Vice-Chancellor