OTTAWA – Today Canada’s universities launched a series of commitments aimed at helping Canadians achieve economic, social and personal fulfillment through higher education, research and innovation. Elizabeth Cannon, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary, shared “Canadian universities’ commitments to Canadians” in her inaugural speech as the new chair of Universities Canada at the association’s fall membership meeting in Ottawa.
“I am beginning my term as chair of Universities Canada’s board at an exciting time of change in this country and around the world,” said Dr. Cannon. “The pace of change today is accelerating. As centers of learning, discovery and community engagement, Canada’s universities have a vision for how we can respond and contribute to that change. These five commitments are a framework for how universities will help build a smart and prosperous future for Canada.”
The five commitments, developed and endorsed by university presidents, are based on the university community’s values of learning, academic freedom, collegiality and results. They amplify and deepen commitments made when the university association marked its centennial in 2011.
The commitments announced today are:
- To equip all students with the skills and knowledge they need to flourish in work and life, empowering them to contribute to Canada’s economic, social and intellectual success.
- To pursue excellence in all aspects of learning, discovery and community engagement.
- To deliver a broad range of enriched learning experiences.
- To put our best minds to the most pressing problems – whether global, national, regional or local.
- To help build a stronger Canada through collaboration and partnerships with the private sector, communities, government and other educational institutions in Canada and around the world.
In her speech, Cannon said that “universities are at their best when they serve as connectors and catalysts, bringing together ideas and resources…Let’s work together to advance the work of universities in our own lives, in our communities, and in our national interest.”
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