University of Calgary

Productive meeting with minister advances future of post-secondary education

UToday HomeApril 16, 2013

CampusA message to the campus community from President Cannon

Many of you will be aware that the presidents of Alberta’s 26 post-secondary institutions (PSIs) met on Thursday, April 11 with Deputy Premier and Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education Thomas Lukaszuk. The meeting was called to discuss the future of Campus Alberta, the draft Letters of Expectation sent to each institution at the end of last month, and the implications of the recent provincial budget, which saw the University of Calgary’s provincial operating grant reduced by 7.3 per cent.

The meeting was very productive. There was a genuine dialogue in which the deputy premier listened to the concerns expressed and showed a willingness to adjust the government’s approach and stated timelines. Importantly, there was recognition that the institutions were challenged in responding to the draft Letter of Expectation, while at the same time dealing with new budget realities. 

The minister agreed to delay institutional revisions to the letters until fall 2013, and also agreed that the letters would be restructured to become a specific Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the government and each PSI. The MOUs will address system-wide outcomes (for all 26 PSIs), sector outcomes (in our case, outcomes for the Comprehensive and Research Institutions within Campus Alberta) and individual institutional outcomes. We expect that with these changes, the MOUs will define the role of each institution and its broader role within the sector, and focus on both system and sector collaboration, and institutional differentiation.

Therefore, the University of Calgary will not be responding to the current draft of the Letter of Expectation. We will continue to consult with the community as we develop and work through the details of the new MOU over the next several months. I want to thank all of you who provided valuable feedback to the draft Letter of Expectation, including the Board of Governors, the Students’ Union, the Graduate Students’ Association, the Faculty Association, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, and the Management and Professional Staff.  The posting of the draft Letter of Expectation on the university’s website elicited 2,200 page views and 49 responses from our broad community.  Everyone’s feedback and perspective has been valuable and very helpful, and will be used to develop the new MOU.

We will keep everyone informed, and continue with ongoing consultations over the next several months. We expect to submit the MOU between the provincial government and the University of Calgary in September or October.

Elizabeth Cannon



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