Defining the University's future

January 2012 Open Mike

Happy New Year everyone and welcome back to campus.

As we begin 2012, our 45th anniversary year, it is important to focus our efforts to develop and implement intentional strategies that will support our continuing maturation as a comprehensive, destination university.

Current budget challenges dictate that we are faced with difficult choices, but this can be seen as an opportunity to be intentional in how we develop and mature as an institution.

Mike Mahon
University of Lethbridge President Mike Mahon.

When I talk with faculty colleagues and hear of their aspirations and what they want to accomplish in the coming years, I am convinced that this is a time to be bold.

It is also a time to work together to define and build our future.

We are in the enviable position of being able to transform the future of our University, and we will do so by moving forward with intentional strategies that maximize our resources.

The changing landscape in Alberta, Canada and beyond suggests we need to ensure that we are envisioning our future and at the same time re-examining our present business practices.

In 2012, we will revisit and build upon our present strategic plan. In doing so, we will ensure that this plan is consistent with our academic and research strategies as well as emergent concepts such as further establishing the U of L as a true destination university, empowering our students to foster community engagement and citizenship and building a campus wide framework for recruiting and supporting Blackfoot and First Nations Métis and Inuit students. All of these strategies will be built on the solid foundation formed by our commitment to provide academic programming of the highest quality.

After lengthy consideration, I have created a President's Task Force on Budget Process. This task force will review our current budget process and make recommendations to the president's executive team that will support both short- and long-term planning, promote sound decision-making in support of institutional priorities, and ensure that a sustainable operating budget is continuously maintained. The task force will seek input from the University community.

At 45 years old, the U of L is relatively young when compared to many other universities.

The U of L has made great strides in the past 45 years, and in many ways our values still reflect the bold and independent ideals of our founders. As we look ahead, we will continue to grow our reputation provincially, nationally and globally because of the commitment our faculty and staff have to working together and supporting each other and our students.

The future is ours to define and the choices are ours to make.

This story first appeared in the January edition of the Legend. For a look at the Legend in a flipbook format, follow this link.