Duties & Responsibilities

Appointed by the Board of Governors, the president serves as the institution’s chief executive officer and vice-chancellor. The president leads the university community to preserve, enhance, and secure the U of A’s reputation as a major comprehensive and research-intensive institution.

Overall, the president:

  • provides the university with strategic leadership
  • oversees the university’s operational and change management processes
  • represents and upholds academic credibility
  • leads the university’s external relations locally, nationally, and internationally

The president of the university guides the institution's senior leadership team and reports to the Board of Governors.

Position Details

Below is the official description of the president’s position, as laid out by the Board of Governors.

Key Accountabilities

Without restricting the generality of the above purpose statement and in accordance with Article 81(3) of the Post-secondary Learning Act, the President has supervision over and direction of the operation of the University of Alberta and these other powers, duties and functions, as set out below:

  • Creates and implements a vision that will build and advance the University of Alberta as an exceptional institution within Alberta, across Canada, and internationally. 
  • Creates, through all his/her dealings, an atmosphere of academic excellence in all subject areas represented at the University of Alberta that will further the reputation of the University as a leader in teaching, research, and community service.
  • Encourages, leads, and nurtures the development of areas of research excellence and, where relevant, develops strategic academic institutes focusing on research, innovation, and enterprise to act as a catalyst for the local, and Provincial, and, in some cases, National economies.
  • Supports and collaborates to build excellence in teaching, research and service.
  • Fosters a culture that attracts, retains and ensures the success of students and ensures a positive student experience.
  • Creates and continually encourages further opening-up the University of Alberta to the world (by attracting more international students, faculty, and programmes).
  • Builds a senior executive team committed to working with the community in fulfilling the vision, goals, and priorities necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the University.
  • Promotes, preserves, and represents, through his/her personal reputation and stature, the achievements of the University in order to gain support for its many endeavours.
  • Models, as the University’s chief representative and spokesperson, the spirit, values, and integrity of the institution as he/she champions, locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally, the initiatives set out in the University’s Comprehensive Institutional Plan.
  • Champions the University’s advancement initiatives and campaigns and develops diversified income streams to ensure the long-term financial viability of the University. Works closely with the Vice-President (Advancement) and, where relevant, Deans of Faculties and other relevant stakeholders to plan strategies for successfully accomplishing these initiatives. 
  • Ensures the overall effectiveness of the University through advocacy to, contact with, and/or participation in various orders of government and with councils and organizations involved in higher education at the provincial, national, and international levels.

  • Ensures the University of Alberta contributes to a vibrant knowledge economy integral to and driving Alberta’s success by engaging with businesses, industry, and government across the Province.

  • Maintains a strong relationship with the Chair of the Board of Governors and with the Chancellor.

  • Ensures connection to and alignment and engagement with the Senate, Alumni and with key University community members, groups and associations.

  • Ensures the various Faculties and other academic units, as well as executive and senior leadership of the University, are structured in a manner that encourages innovative and efficient administration of the entire institution.

  • Reports to the Board of Governors on all matters including the performance of the University against the measures laid out in the University’s Comprehensive Institutional Plan.

  • Exercises, under delegated authority from the Board of Governors, the authority to act in extraordinary and/or emergency circumstances.


Updated: July 1, 2015