Campus Life

Open Mike — Community Update casts eye to the future of ULethbridge

The University of Lethbridge is on the cusp of an era of great change and similarly, an era of great opportunity that will shape the future of the institution.

Last week, we invited the campus community to take part in a Community Update where my colleagues from the senior administration team and I addressed the many changes that are coming and what opportunities these present for the University. I want to thank everyone who took the time to attend and participate in the discussion, whether you were in-person or online. I found the conversations and questions you raised to be very valuable and indicative of how invested you are in our students and the mission of ULethbridge.

Much of the change before us is in multiple leadership positions, beginning with the search for a new president. A search committee has been struck for this position and work continues on the hiring process with a new president to be named later this fall with their term beginning July 1, 2023.

A new chancellor is also being sought and just recently the University publicly launched the search. We will be sad to see Chancellor Weaselhead leave his role for he has continued the strong tradition of contributing greatly to the growth of ULethbridge. His replacement will be chosen in the new year with their term beginning in May 2023.

Some Faculties will also see significant changeover as the Faculties of Education, Fine Arts and Health Sciences seek new deans, while the School of Liberal Education/Library is also searching for a new dean. All new deans are scheduled to be in place beginning July 1, 2023.

As well, the search for a new Provost will commence following the appointment of our new president.

As you can see, there will be an unparalleled influx of new, talented people in multiple key roles throughout the University. Their ideas and perspectives will carry great influence in shaping ULethbridge for years to come, so please lend your voice in this important recruitment and selection process.

Among other issues discussed in the update, we spoke of a renewed commitment to the People Plan, something we can all agree is imperative given the difficult times we have all experienced over the past two years.

The enrolment landscape is a challenge for everyone and not being able to offer the in-person experience for which we are renowned was especially impactful on our numbers. There are some very positive signs that things are turning around, and it is through the continued dedication of our faculty and staff who recognize recruitment and retention of students as a priority in everything we do, that we will again begin to see our enrolment rise.

To that end, the recent Open House was the most successful event in our history, generating the largest number of attendees as well as a flood of applications in the ensuing days. As well, international students continue to choose ULethbridge as a preferred destination for their studies. We have an excellent opportunity to realize continued growth in this area. Recently, a proposed partnership with Navitas was discussed at General Faculties Council and by the Board of Governors. With the approval of the Board of Governors, we are working in earnest toward a contract with Navitas that will enhance international student enrolment pathways and support further recruitment of international students.

It is time to look ahead and in the coming weeks, please take note of engagement opportunities with the People Plan renewal, the early stages of development for our next Strategic Research Plan (2024-29), and discussions about the exciting opportunity to shape the development of our South Campus area. These significant changes will define our university for years to come and it is you — our ULethbridge community — who can help us build and grow together.

Mike Mahon, PhD
President & Vice-Chancellor