Growth Through Focus

On June 24, President Ed McCauley presented the university leadership’s proposal for “growth through focus”. This proposal would see UCalgary refocus investments into areas of strength and overhaul operations with an eye towards creating “Canada’s most entrepreneurial university.” 

President Ed McCauley

“Great cities are built around great research universities and cities that successfully reinvent themselves do so in partnerships with focused, world-class institutions. The fate of Calgary and UCalgary are inextricably tied. Our community has supported us, and now is the time to show returns on those investments for the benefit of our community. Our ambition is nothing short of UCalgary being a catalyst of economic growth and quality-of-life improvements in this city.”

Ed McCauley

UCalgary President and Vice-Chancellor

The Proposal

1. Reputation built around areas of excellence, entrepreneurial thinking, innovation, advanced technology, and strong connections to industry and community. 

  • Drive institution’s reputation through focusing on a few areas of academic and research excellence. 

  • Help scholars mobilize their ideas through the completion of an “innovation ecosystem” that is self-sustaining and profitable. 

  • Connect with industry/community through 10-20 strong institutional partnerships in research and teaching/learning. 


2. Destination for top scholars that want to work in an entrepreneurial and transdisciplinary environment. 

  • Encourage acquisition and retention of world-class faculty through attractive, competitive compensation packages. 

  • Stimulate entrepreneurial, community-focused thinking and activity through a reimagining of incentive models. 

  • Foster transdisciplinary innovation through an expansion of the Confederation of Scholars model and Communities of Practice model. 


3. Destination of choice for students around the world with expanded enrolment (from 33,000 to 37,000 students). Recognized as a national leader in student experience and professional upskilling and reskilling, with nearly double the number of graduate students (from 6,300 to 10,000 students). 

  • Meet the needs of current and future students through the dramatic expansion of new models of credentialing and modularization and alternative delivery formats, including expanding remote/online offerings.  

  • Meet the needs of mid-career professionals looking to upskill or reskill. 

  • Meet the needs of the local community and job market through increasing the number of graduate students 


4. Future-proofed financial position by increasing total revenue to $2 billion through the growth of sustainable alternative revenue sources. 

  • Reduce reliance on Campus Alberta Grant from 29% of revenue to 20%. 

  • Insulate university from local economic fluctuations by increasing amount of revenue that comes from outside of Alberta. 

  • Deliver world-class student experience by increasing investment per student (from $45,000 to $54,000).

UCalgary red arch

We are creating, in the heart of Canada’s most enterprising city, Canada’s most entrepreneurial university. This is a place where leaders are created. This is a place where hard work is rewarded and where innovation turns into results. 

Geeta Sankappanavar

Chair, Board of Governors


This proposal is now in front of our community for feedback.

1. Test Alignment (June)

A survey will be sent to the university community on June 29, asking for feedback on the proposal as presented.


2. Investigate (July and August)

ELT-led task teams will solicit feedback from the community on specific areas of the plan:

  • Academic Focus
  • Innovation Ecosystem
  • Alternative Revenue
  • Workforce Optimization
  • Industrial Partnerships
  • Capital Assets
  • Advanced Technology

3. Deliberate (September and October)

Once the work on investigating and refining the proposal is complete, an updated proposal will be brought forward for discussion and governance approval as required. An announcement on decisions and next steps will occur with the Community Report (mid-October).

See also:

News release on this topic. 


campus in the fall