Open Mike - February

University of Lethbridge President Dr. Mike Mahon chats about what's happening in the University community

When the U of L Senate elected Shirley McClellan as our next chancellor, it spoke to the vision we have for the University moving forward as an emerging comprehensive institution that engages its students and community.

Over the years, the role of a university chancellor has undergone a significant transition. Today's chancellors are strategically selected by universities to represent their specific ideals and directions. Shirley McClellan, by this way of thinking, is an ideal fit for the University of Lethbridge.

Looking back at Shirley's career as a leader, I am struck by the fact that at every turn, her focus was rooted in community values and initiatives. A leader at the local, provincial and national levels, she is a natural when it comes to engaging groups of individuals, and this is reflected in the impact she has had on so many communities, both large and small, throughout her career.

Our retiring chancellor, Richard Davidson, did a terrific job at connecting the University of Lethbridge to the community and I see Shirley taking up that charge seamlessly.

The evolution of the chancellor's role has been gradual. While it is still honorific, especially when it comes to convocation and events of a ceremonial nature, it has become so much more. Our chancellor is our window into the community and provides another form of leadership for the University.

We are very fortunate to have found a person like Shirley to represent the University's interests because she knows and understands the U of L experience, and is able to tell our story on a number of levels.

As the parent of an alumna, she has been the mother of a U of L student. As a person with smalltown roots, she has the ability to speak to those with rural backgrounds, but at the same time, having worked the halls of legislature, she can open doors to the province's key decision makers. As Alberta's true provincial University, with campuses in Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton, she is uniquely suited to represent our needs in any setting.

Shirley will be a strong advocate for this University because she has a genuine affinity for the U of L and can see the vision we have established for the future. Her strength as an experienced leader that champions community engagement can only serve the U of L well as it continues to establish itself as a destination university for the brightest minds in the province and beyond.

I want to congratulate the U of L Senate for its worthy selection and I look forward to working with Shirley in the years to come.

Finally, I want to invite everyone to the Feb. 16 Strategic Plan Luncheon in the Atrium. This will be a great opportunity to discuss the strategic directions we have been working towards, and to further clarify our priorities as we forge ahead.

For a look at the February issue of the Legend in a flipbook format, follow this link.