Like McCauley, the tour we’re taking of various UCalgary campuses and associated facilities is multifaceted and informative. He provides unexpected insights into his life as he illuminates the path he’s carefully setting for the university.
McCauley delightfully connects dots, jumping from his insights into how universities operate in different jurisdictions and the vital role a university can play within a city, to the pleasures of wines that disclose as much about a region as they do of the person experiencing them. Like wine and the importance of the region’s terroir, universities are rooted in specific environments. But they are comprised of people — each of whom has a particular perspective and contribution.
“We, as a young university, are so fortunate,” says McCauley. “We have extraordinary community support from people who want to make a difference, many of whom are global players who operate businesses around the world . . . who already know what a great research university can do.”
It’s exactly this — deepening the university’s ties with Calgary, Canada and the world — that energizes McCauley. In Calgary, the main campus hosts 34,000-plus students, 5,000 faculty and staff. Since the late 1960s, our home on University Drive has grown to include three other campuses in the city: Foothills, Spy Hill and Downtown. And then there’s our campus half a world away in Qatar, “where we are transforming the profession of nursing in the Middle East,” he says.
How will McCauley, who has had a 30-year career at the university, serve these different jurisdictions? How will he elevate UCalgary on the global stage as it grows next to those established European institutions that he has seen operate? How will he juggle the needs of undergraduate and graduate education, Canadian-born and international students, and research and industry goals? How will he continue to grow UCalgary as a wellspring of intellect and innovation for our 185,000-plus alumni while positioning our current students for post-convocation success?
As McCauley took us on a tour of some strategic spots at UCalgary, we got a peek into our future, glimpsed the university’s strategic priorities and saw the complex course McCauley is embarking on.
Get ready for an exciting ride.