University of Calgary

Weingarten steps down

Feb. 10, 2009

Weingarten winding up tenure as President

Dr. Harvey Weingarten.

Dr. Harvey Weingarten.

Dr. Harvey P. Weingarten, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calgary, today announced his decision to step down January 1, 2010, after leading the University through almost a decade of growth and innovation.  

After joining the University in 2001, Dr. Weingarten launched an Academic Strategic Plan to express the University’s core values and ensure that growth was guided by an academic mission and a commitment to quality and student success. 

“The start of a new decade is the right time to hand over the reins to the next President. We have achieved many of the goals set out for me when I was first hired. The University of Calgary is well-positioned for the future, so it is time for me to move on,” said Dr. Weingarten.  

The Academic Plan provided the foundation for a strategy that resulted in the greatest period of growth in the University of Calgary’s history.   Since his arrival in 2001, the U of C completed, initiated, constructed or planned about $1.5 billion in capital projects and improvements.  These include the Taylor Family Digital Library and Taylor Quadrangle, the High Density Library, the Health Research Innovation Centre and Teaching, Research and Wellness building, the Energy, Environment and Experiential Learning (EEEL) building, an annex to the Calgary Centre for Innovative Technologies Building, the Dr. Fok Ying Tung International House, the Child Development Centre, the Roger Jackson Centre for Health and Wellness, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the Downtown Campus, a cogeneration cooling and heating plant, and a campus in Doha, Qatar.

The growth strategy was directly linked to initiatives to improve student success, including increased access and an unprecedented partnership with students to allocate millions of dollars in new program funding over the past six years. The first of its kind in Canada, the “quality money” initiative to date has seen $6.5 million invested in priorities chosen by students. 

During his term as president, the U of C has expanded or created a host of new programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including the Bachelor of Health Sciences, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and a 1,000-student expansion in a variety of programs related to energy and the environment. 

Dr. Weingarten helped solidify the University’s commitment to multidisciplinary inquiry with the creation of the Institute for Sustainable, Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE); the School of Policy Studies; the Institute for Quantum Information Sciences; the Institute for Biocomplexity and Informatics and many interdisciplinary institutes and programs in the health sciences, all coupled with the recruitment of several new, internationally recognized faculty members to these initiatives and other programs. 

During Dr. Weingarten’s tenure, the U of C has seen an unprecedented amount of community support in the forms of fundraising and community engagement. Since his arrival, annual fundraising has increased more than five-fold, peaking at over $100 million per year in donations and pledges, including several mega-gifts that led to the naming of several institutes in the Faculty of Medicine, the naming of the Taylor Family Digital Library and Taylor Quadrangle, and the naming of the Haskayne School of Business and the Schulich School of Engineering. 

During Dr. Weingarten’s term, the University of Calgary was invited to become a member of the G13 of Canada’s leading research universities and achieved a top-10 status among Canadian universities in faculty awards, research funding, profile and reputation. 

 “We strengthened our relationships with students, faculty, government and the broader community, and the results speak for themselves,” said Board of Governors Chair Jack Perraton. “The capital projects coming on stream now and the new and expanded academic programs will make it possible for the University to accommodate further growth in the student population. More importantly, these achievements reflect a commitment to high quality education and research. Dr. Weingarten’s work has built a legacy that will have a positive impact on students for many generations.”
Dr. Weingarten will remain at the helm of the U of C until January 1, 2010.

“It has been a privilege to have had the opportunity to serve our students, community and university.  I will leave the U of C with a sense of optimism, confidence and calm because of the talents and capacity of our academic and administrative leaders and all of the dedicated staff that make up the U of C family.  I wish them and the university well,” said Dr. Weingarten. 

Dr. Weingarten is the University of Calgary’s seventh President. He formerly served as Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at McMaster University and received his post-graduate education at Yale University.

The search for a new president is led by the University’s Board of Governors and typically takes about a year to complete.  A presidential search committee will be created in the near future and it is expected that a new President will be in place in 2010.