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University announces plan to hire 100 new professors

By Fabian Mayer, October 6 2015 —

The University of Calgary is spending $26 million to hire 100 new professors over the next two years. University president Elizabeth Cannon made this announcement to students, faculty and community members at the annual Community Report on Sept. 30.

Cannon also provided an update on the university’s “Eyes High” goal of becoming one of Canada’s top-five research universities. The U of C remains sixth with just one year left in the 5-year plan.

Cannon claims the university is “achieving significant progress” on Eyes High and that hiring new professors will help this continue.

“This academic renewal program is an investment in our future and will accelerate the hiring of new professors across our institution,” Cannon said.

Students’ Union president Levi Nilson is encouraged by the announcement to hire more faculty.

“This is the first announcement that we’ve seen like this with regards to actually teaching in the classroom for quite a while. Hopefully they continue that trend,” Nilson said.

Nilson believes Eyes High has done good things for the university, but that the strategy focuses too heavily on research.

“We would like to see more of an emphasis on student experience, whether it’s in the classroom or outside,” Nilson said.

Eyes High was launched in 2011 and comes to an end in 2016. Nilson hopes future strategies have a broader focus. 

“It’s done after this year and they’re going to be doing a revamp of it,” Nilson said. “We definitely want there to be more of a focus on student experience because that was something where there wasn’t as much of an emphasis.”

Of the 100 announced positions, only 25 will be new hires, all in the Cumming School of Medicine. The remaining 75 hires will fill positions that become vacant as professors retire or leave the university.

The Community Report also highlighted the U of C’s number one ranking among Canadian universities under 50 years of age. This is the last year the U of C can hold this distinction, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in April.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi provided a video message congratulating the U of C on its 2015 Community Report.

“We are richer because the University of Calgary is here in this city, where two thirds of alumni live and work,” Nenshi said. “I am thrilled to be a U of C alumnus and to be the mayor of a city that is lucky enough to have the U of C in it.”

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