Dare to Discover: A Vision for a Great University

Connecting Communities

ENGAGE alumni in a mutually beneficial lifelong relationship the University of Alberta, enlisting their support to achieve the university's vision and to assist us in connecting to communities around the world.

BUILD strong partnerships with the capital region, the cities of Edmonton and Camrose, other urban and rural Alberta communities, and all orders of government to fulfil our responsibility as Alberta's university, a leader on the national stage with global connections.

FOSTER partnerships with business and industry to advance mutual goals for supporting talented people through employment and internship opportunities for our students and access to lifelong learning, identifying research challenges, and translating and disseminating our research outcomes.

FOSTER excellent relationships with Alberta Health Services and other provincial health organizations, the post-secondary sector, the public sector, and non-governmental organizations to further enhance the quality of life in our society.

ENHANCE relationships with other nations to create learning opportunities for students and research collaborations to address global challenges and initiatives that foster mutual understanding, global peace, and prosperity.

PROMOTE community pride and participation in the university through its physical and intellectual openness and opportunities for ongoing dialogue and discussion.

ENGAGE with, serve, and draw strength from the diversity of our external communities, in particular Aboriginal, Franco-Albertan, multicultural, rural, and northern communities. 

Transformative Organization and Support

DEVELOP an endowment comparable to the best public research universities in the world.

SECURE resources to provide the best education for our students, to support world-class research and creative activity and its dissemination and translation, and to foster citizenship.

PROVIDE needs-based and merit-based financial assistance to increase affordability for all students and offer competitive fellowships to attract outstanding graduate students.

BUILD, enhance, and maintain classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and museums, as well as athletic, social, and residential facilities, to provide a transformative university experience.

CONTINUE to set priorities and invest in world-class teaching and research infrastructure.

ESTABLISH high standards of service based on best practices to achieve and maintain good stewardship of financial resources and capital assets.

PROMOTE administrative effectiveness and good governance by improving communication among units, enhancing collaboration, implementing transformative ideas, and revising organizational structures.

“The people demand that knowledge shall not be the concern of scholars alone. The uplifting of the whole people shall be its final goal.”

—Henry Marshall Tory, September 1908


At the University of Alberta, Dare to Discover is our blueprint for greatness as we enter our second century. Using our values, vision, mission and cornerstones as a framework, it guides us as we grow.

Dare to Discover Vision Document

Our Values

To achieve our vision of a great university, we rely on shared, deeply held values that are a bedrock for our behaviour and guide our actions. These values are drawn from the principles on which the University of Alberta was founded in 1908 and reflect a dynamic, modern institution of higher learning, leading change nationally and internationally.

Our Vision

To inspire the human spirit through outstanding achievements in learning, discovery, and citizenship in a creative community, building one of the world’s great universities for the public good.

Our Mission

Within a vibrant and supportive learning environment, the University of Alberta discovers, disseminates, and applies new knowledge through teaching and learning, research and creative activity, community involvement, and partnerships. The University of Alberta gives a national and international voice to innovation in our province, taking a lead role in placing Canada at the global forefront.

We have anchored our vision on four cornerstones that provide the foundation for a great university and the uplifting of the whole people:

Dare to Deliver

Dare to Deliver, the University of Alberta’s Academic Plan 2011-2015, is our vision in action.

Dare to Deliver identifies our institution-level commitments and initiatives for 2011-2015, connecting two documents: the University of Alberta Institutional Business Plan and a Scorecard that will provide the performance indicators to monitor our progress and success.

The University of Alberta, in partnership with the province and the nation, will achieve great things for its students and for society at large. From discovery to delivery, I invite you all to partake in this inspiring transformation.

If you have any questions, comments or ideas, please email me at uofapres@ualberta.ca.

Dare to Discover Report Cards

The University of Alberta's Comprehensive Institutional Plan (CIP)

2013 Online Visioning Report

The MacKinnon Report

Talented People

ATTRACT outstanding students from Alberta, Canada, and the world.

CREATE a dynamic, discovery-based learning environment by aiming for a mix of undergraduate and graduate students typical of leading public research universities.

ATTRACT post-doctoral fellows, researchers, and visiting faculty from around the world to join the academic community already in place.

IMPROVE access for rural, Aboriginal, and non-traditional students through partnerships with colleges and by linkages with high schools across the province, and improve affordability by enhancing bursaries and scholarships.

RECRUIT and retain outstanding and diverse academic staff through endowed professorships, competitive startup funding, and attractive career support, and by providing a vibrant intellectual climate that celebrates and rewards achievement.

RECRUIT and retain the best staff by fostering a culture of excellence within a healthy and safe workplace, providing progressive career opportunities, and rewarding leadership and outstanding accomplishments.

ENHANCE the global perspective and intercultural climate at the university by celebrating and drawing upon the diversity within it.

Learning, Discovery, and Citizenship

CREATE an exceptional and life-changing university experience for students through curricular and extracurricular offerings that integrate learning, discovery, and citizenship to develop the intellect and the imagination, educate leaders, and enhance a global perspective.

ENGAGE students through mentorship and peer-based activities such as clubs, athletics, and social events to inspire high achievement, improve retention, and enhance graduation rates.

FOSTER scholarship and discoveries that are transformative and at the cutting edge by rewarding quality and impact over quantity and by enhancing cross-disciplinary initiatives.

DEMONSTRATE the contribution of university discovery and scholarship to public policy and enhance these social, cultural, and economic dividends by celebrating and rewarding achievements in knowledge translation and dissemination.

FOSTER national and international research collaborations that advance understanding and generate knowledge to address global challenges.

REWARD and recognize the excellence of individuals in teaching, groundbreaking scholarship, and contributions to community  and nation-building as public intellectuals and professionals.

INSPIRE students, faculty, and staff alike to engage in activities that develop leadership, foster social and moral responsibility, and contribute to the further development of our society and its institutions.