University seeks to replace biggest wig

By Katy Anderson

The search is on for the eighth president of the University of Calgary’s 42-year history.

After eight years at the reigns of one of Canada’s G-13 universities, Dr. Harvey Weingarten is moving on this January.

To find a replacement, the university set up the Presidential Advisory Search Committee and is now looking for input from campus stakeholders, said Board of Governors chair Jack Perraton.

“What we want to do is have as broad and encompassing a review as possible to see what we need for the institution going forward,” said Perraton. “Of course, one of Harvey Weingarten’s major concerns and endeavors was always the student experience and we want to see that continue to be enhanced and that we continue to provide absolutely the best education possible.”

The PASC has chosen the following criteria for assessing candidates: institutional leadership (vision and planning), academic leadership, internal relations, external relations, administration and management and personal qualities. Perraton explained that the committee is looking for feedback on the criteria, which are further explained on its website,, and is encouraging community stakeholders to suggest potential candidates.

Of approximately 10 committee members, two will be students: Students’ Union president Charlotte Kingston and Graduate Students’ Association president Veronique Dorais — a strong student presence as far as university committees go, according to Kingston. Other members will include Perraton, a member of the University of Calgary Teacher’s Association and one alumni, among others.

Kingston said the incoming president will face significant challenges, like supervising the reorganization of the arts faculty, addressing student retention and student success.

“There’s been a lot of talk about expanding research opportunities, which is more in line with provincial priorities,” she said. “I think that’s certainly going to be a factor for them, but at the same time the Students’ Union needs to continue emphasizing that both deferred maintenance and undergraduate teaching and research opportunities have been neglected at this institution and that’s going to be a vision that the incoming president is going to have to bring together.”

The next meeting of the PASC will be June 23 and final criteria will be posted by July 6th.

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