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Provost & Vice President (Academic), University of Calgary

Job ID: 30214
Location: Main Campus
Updated October 16, 2023

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We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta.
The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Districts 5 and 6.

Position Description

Provost & Vice President (Academic)
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW Calgary, AB T2N 1N4

University Description
The University of Calgary (UCalgary), located in the heart of Southern Alberta, both acknowledges and pays tribute to the traditional territories of the peoples of Treaty 7, which include the Blackfoot Confederacy (comprised of the Siksika, the Piikani, and the Kainai First Nations) as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda (including Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations). The university recognizes that the City of Calgary is also home to Region III of the Métis Nation of Alberta. By virtue of the signing of Treaty 7 in 1877, the university recognizes that we are all treaty people. The City of Calgary is home to a culturally diverse community. Together, we share this land, strive to live together, learn together, walk together, and grow together in a good way. 

UCalgary is a global intellectual hub located in Canada’s most enterprising city. UCalgary is a bold and spirited institution, recognized as one of Canada’s top-five research universities, grounded in innovative teaching and learning, and fully engaged with the community it serves and leads. 

“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 and beyond.” - Dr. Ed McCauley, President & Vice-Chancellor, University of Calgary 

UCalgary recently unveiled its Ahead of Tomorrow strategic plan, which articulates a 7-year vision out to 2030. It's a bold vision that reflects our ambition to increase access to future-focused education, to maximize the impact of our research and innovation, to put the community at the centre of all that we do, and to make our operational processes clearer, simpler and better than any other university. To learn more about UCalgary’s strategic plan, visit: ucalgary.ca/about/ahead-of-tomorrow

Despite its youth, at only 57 years of age, UCalgary is already one of the nation’s leading research universities. It has five campuses in Calgary, one in Qatar, a University Innovation Quarter in Calgary, and five research stations in Alberta, BC, and the Yukon. UCalgary is a global intellectual hub for high-quality research and scholarship, one where students thrive in programs made rich by research, hands-on experiences, and entrepreneurial thinking, grounded in innovative learning and teaching; it is fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. As a Comprehensive Academic and Research University, we aim to produce the next generation of leaders who experience the best possible training in acquiring and creating new knowledge. 

These foundational values and commitments enable excellence, discovery, creativity, and innovation across the research ecosystem. With over 28,000 undergraduate students, 8,000 graduate students, 575 postdoctoral fellows/associates (postdocs), and 1,800+ faculty actively engaged in transdisciplinary discovery, creativity, and innovation across 14 faculties and schools, and supported by 3,200+ staff, we deliver over 250 degree and non-credit programs – undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, postdoctoral training, and continuing and professional education programs. We increasingly attract domestic students from within Alberta and across Canada, and our knowledge and experience are enriched by international students from over 119 countries. 

With over $545M in annual research revenue and more than 50 research institutes and centres, UCalgary has become known as a research powerhouse in Canada. The scholarly environment at UCalgary encourages our students, faculty, and staff to take on the tough challenges facing our society and to draw expertise from across all our domains to develop evidence-based solutions. We integrate research into graduate and undergraduate curricula, equipping students with transferable problem-solving skills tested in experiential and work-integrated learning scenarios to increase employability and opportunities for professional advancement. 

UCalgary benefits from the ongoing support of our community, which rallies behind the university, recently completing the third-largest fundraising campaign in Canadian history, surpassing $1.4B.  

UCalgary is a large and complex institution that drives tremendous value with an annual consolidated budget of more than $1.6B, it is among Calgary’s largest employers, and generates over $16B annually in economic impact to the province.  Two-thirds of the university's 220,000 alumni live and work in the Calgary area, effectively building a city of leaders and those dedicated to improving quality of life and prosperity.

UCalgary has been recognized for six consecutive years as one of Alberta’s Top 75 Employers (2017–2022) and Canada’s best diversity employer (2017–2022). 

To learn more, visit ucalgary.ca

Location – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Calgary is one of Canada’s safest and most culturally diverse urban centres, repeatedly ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities. With a population of 1.6M, it is also the largest city in Alberta and the third-largest municipality in Canada. 

Please click here to learn more about Calgary. 

Scope and Responsibilities
Reporting to the President and Vice-Chancellor, the Provost & Vice-President Academic (VPA) is the senior officer of UCalgary, responsible for achieving the strategic academic direction and priorities of the institution – serving as both the Chief Academic Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the University of Calgary. This position is a member of the University’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT), and the President’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT). The successful candidate will be offered an academic position with tenure at the rank of Professor. The appointment as Provost & VPA is for a five-year period with the possibility of renewal.

The Provost & VPA functions in a highly demanding environment which requires constant scanning for issues and challenges against multiple priorities and demands on resources. The workload is significant, the issues are frequently complex, and the partnerships and decisions required of the Provost & VPA are critical to UCalgary and its academic success. This position develops and maintains positive and productive relationships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders including other ELT and SLT members, the Board of Governors, faculty, students, staff, alumni, granting agencies, community leaders, other educational institutions, and senior level government officials.

The Provost & VPA has responsibilities across four primary domains:
•    Strategic and transformational leadership of the academy;
•    Academic operations;
•    Student enrolment and experience; and,
•    Long-range institutional planning and university operations.

Specific Responsibilities
This is a critical role in UCalgary’s continued success and growth. The role is accountable for the following:

Strategic and transformational leadership of the academy

  • Identify opportunities to advance the University’s vision and strategic plan;
  • Champion academic excellence, entrepreneurial thinking, and innovation in the planning and delivery of the University's academic programming, operations and affairs;
  • Act as a leader and champion for scholarly pursuits, teaching, learning and interdisciplinary education;
  • Engage the academic community and support the Deans and Directors of Institutes and Schools in their scholarly pursuits, research, and creative activities;
  • Create enabling conditions to deliver programs through new models (e.g. credentialing and modularization), different delivery formats (e.g. remote/online offerings) and co-curricular development; and,
  • Work closely with the President & Vice-Chancellor to build strong institutional partnerships through programmatic collaboration in experiential learning.

Academic operations

  • Lead a senior management team in effectively implementing and managing the University’s Academic Plan;
  • Collaborate extensively with the Vice-President, Research on supporting the University’s Research Plan;
  • Develop and manage the annual operating budget of the Provost’s portfolio;
  • Lead/co-lead the recruitment of senior administrative/academic positions (Deans, Directors of Schools, and Vice Provosts) and provide leadership and direction in the recruitment and support of faculty members;
  • Oversee the academic processes for faculty appointments, tenure and promotion;
  • Direct the development of faculty achievement awards programs;
  • Develop frameworks around, and review and assess academic policies, programs and processes, including faculty appointments, tenure and promotion, student success, academic research, and associated financial matters;
  • Oversee quality assurance processes in the academy, including unit reviews, curricular reviews, and accreditation reviews;
  • Oversee, in collaboration with the Vice President, Services, those aspects of human resources related to academic staff; and,
  • Act as Vice-Chair of the General Faculties Council (GFC) and the GFC Executive Committee.

Student enrolment and experience

  • Oversee student experience, including curricular, co-curricular, outreach, and access initiatives for students within the community and engagement with various student groups on campus, including the SU and GSA; and,
  • Oversee the enrolment management process, from recruitment through to graduation, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Long-range institutional planning and university operations

  • Support long range institutional planning;
  • Co-lead with the Vice-President Finance, the annual budget process providing direction to the forecasting, planning, strategic management and utilization of the University’s financial and capital resources;
  • Continuously identify opportunities to grow alternative revenue sources; 
  • Establish and enhance provincial, national, and international collaborations; and,
  • Support the ongoing advancement of our institutional commitments to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility; Indigenous engagement; mental health; global engagement; and sustainability.

Desired Candidate Abilities, Background and Experience
Given the role this individual will play in UCalgary’s continued growth and success, it is essential that the successful candidate possess the following education, experience, and personal characteristics:

Education

  • A Ph.D. or equivalent, along with academic qualifications and career accomplishments commensurate with an appointment “With Tenure” at the rank of Full Professor.

Experience

  • An internationally recognized catalogue of excellent scholarly research and teaching;
  • A minimum of 10 years’ progressive experience in leadership as well as significant graduate and/or postdoctoral supervisory experience;
  • Strong leadership and interpersonal skills, including not only the ability to lead the academy, but also the ability to work collegially as an integral member of a leadership team. The ability to achieve results through others is important; 
  • Ability to bridge across all the various stakeholders – disciplines, communities, diversity, and generations;
  • The demonstrated ability to acquire the resources necessary to support best-in-class teaching and learning at the University of Calgary;
  • Sound judgement and practical problem-solving skills, with a proven record of delivering large, complex change projects effectively;
  • The ability and willingness to maintain focus, courageously take decisions, and deliver;
  • Energy, social competence, flexibility and high levels of personal motivation and resilience;
  • Highly attuned political acumen and community awareness;
  • The proven ability to create, communicate, and set achievable objectives, and promote and develop an environment for success;
  • Strong administration skills and experience managing significant financial resources;
  • Direct experience in Indigenous engagement and Reconciliation and the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion and anti-racism;
  • Demonstrated history of effecting change and leading transformation within a university;
  • Experience working with different labour and representative organizations; and,
  • A commitment to continuous learning, and the ability to continuously seek out and acquire new knowledge, skills and expertise.

Personal / Professional Attributes

Act With Integrity and Respect
Acting with integrity means to support the core values of the university, to be congruent in what you say and do, to be trustworthy and honest, to offer respect to all people and to exhibit a high standard of integrity in all interactions. People in the organization can count on leaders to “do the right thing”, be accountable and fair and never lay blame. This quality enables leaders to be patient, flexible and accessible to their staff. Maintain a respectful workplace by modelling respectful behaviour and challenging and/or reporting disrespectful or inappropriate behaviour when it occurs.

Envision the Future
Sensing, capitalizing and aligning a focused future by defining the future direction of the organization, and using the vision to guide and align the efforts of all members of the organization.  It is the ability to anticipate, and interpret future trends, using decisive insight and critical thinking skills by drawing on background, experience and University knowledge to effectively decide, problem-solve and align others and resources in increasingly challenging and complex situations.    

Foster Innovation
To champion and facilitate the development of breakthrough research and new solutions; to bring in changes and new ideas that improve services, methods or approaches.  It is the ability to turn difficult situations into opportunities. As a knowledge organization, we need to think strategically, promote creativity, take calculated risks, challenge the status quo, develop best practices, and continuously improve. 

Engage and Support Others
The intention to engage with others to work together to build and maintain open and reciprocal relationships and understanding the importance of leveraging others to successfully achieve organizational objectives.  Leaders work to empower and enable others with appropriate authority and responsibility and support their efforts to take responsibility. Leaders have a genuine interest to foster the long-term relationships and development of oneself and others through coaching, mentoring, personal and professional development and supporting successful performance.  

Focus on Results
The drive and the need to achieve positive results and the ability to focus one's attention on accomplishing key objectives for oneself, the team and the organization. This is demonstrated by considering the potential of each team member, ensuring they are in a position to deliver excellence, removing all traces of blame in the culture, and working actively on listening to, and inspiring individuals to deliver results. It is further supported by the ability to facilitate and lead positive change by involving others, committing oneself and appropriate resources to accomplish challenge goals, even in the face of complexity, uncertainty and change.

Attractions
This role provides an opportunity to join a University that is poised for continued growth.  Other attractions include the opportunity to:

  • Be instrumental in the University’s bold and innovative growth strategy;
  • Create a canvas unlike anywhere else, within an institution that regularly makes an impact on the world stage and creates tangible change;
  • Be part of a young, dynamic and ambitious culture;
  • Work with a dynamic executive leadership team uniquely structured to achieve results collaboratively; and,
  • Build on established foundational relationships across a highly supportive community.

“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.”   -   Mark, Herman, Chair, Board of Governors 

Contact Information

The University of Calgary is partnering with the executive search firm, DHR Global on this search. All deliberations of the Provost & Vice-President (Academic) Advisory Search Committee will be conducted with full confidentiality for all candidates. Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. Interested candidates should submit confidentially, in electronic form (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files preferred) a Curriculum Vitae, a 2-page summary of relevant accomplishments, and a letter of interest to [email protected] by December 1, 2023.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and we will support their academic and professional success while they are here. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities.

The University of Calgary’s comprehensive benefits and pension program is designed to promote productive level of health and well-being to staff members through coverage for health, dental, life insurance, income protection for disability, and retirement income planning. The base salary wage range is established to be between $200,000 and $365,000 Canadian dollars per annum and will be negotiated based on the candidate’s skills and experience. To learn about our comprehensive benefits package for this Calgary-based, English-speaking position, please visit https://www.ucalgary.ca/hr/benefits-pension.

For more information:

Shahauna Siddiqui
Partner
DHR Global
Suite 1900, 255 5 Ave SW 
Calgary, AB, Canada T2P 3G6
T:  403-817-0999
E:  [email protected]

Lachie Woofter
Director, Client Delivery
DHR Global
Suite 1900, 255 5 Ave SW 
Calgary, AB, Canada T2P 3G6
T: 403-817-0989
E: [email protected]

Additional Information

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

As an equitable and inclusive employer, the University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities. Questions regarding [diversity] EDI at UCalgary can be sent to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ([email protected]) and requests for accommodations can be sent to Human Resources ([email protected]).

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. In this connection, at the time of your application, please answer the following question: Are you a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada? (Yes/No)

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