Eras are often defined by the visions of leaders: the Carnegie era defined the important connection between industrialist and philanthropist; the Kennedy era defined the culture of US risk-taking by charting a path to the moon; and the Jobs era defined unlimited innovation with the interdependence of technology and humanity.
Whether those leaders are local, global, political, industrial, dictatorial or libertarian, leaders with commanding visions define their eras.
On a local level, we had the Stephen Mandel era, the Cal Nichols era, the Don Lowry era, the Tony Franceschini era, the Dave Mowat era, the Indira Samarasekera era, the Shelia Weatherill era and the Ross Grieve era … all different leaders that left their mark in different ways.
What is important to note is that they all progressed their causes and left their mark. Leaders have to leave a mark … have to move their organizations forward … or they are often forgotten as part of “a lost decade” era … and that is a tragedy of leadership, especially when that leader was brought in specifically to steward a public-facing organization in a defined direction.
The University of Alberta is in need of an era … and it has the opportunity to define its next decade with the selection of a leader that heightens the vision, determination and relevance of this amazing institution. Our university has the opportunity to select a President that has the following:
– Clear vision for campus development focused on enhancing the student experience;
– Understanding of our industrial and societal needs for entrepreneurial graduates;
– Capability to engage alumni, to build pride in the community and to raise capital;
– Clarity of expectations for research & teaching excellence across core faculties; and
– Ability to align all Deans to one vision, one voice, one goal … of being the best.
If we get it right, that leader will not only define the next era for the University of Alberta, but also for the City of Edmonton and the Province of Alberta. If we dare .. strive … and take risks … it will be a defining decade for all. The combination of our K-12 System, NAIT, MacEwen, NorQuest and University of Alberta has the ability to position Edmonton as the place with “the Brightest Kids in the World” and the University of Alberta is a critical cornerstone of that reputation.
So let’s Be Bold. Dare to Discover. Be Indisputably Recognized. Be a Leader.