Director, School of Public Policy

Jul 24
By | Jobs
Position Description
Director, School of Public Policy
2500 University Drive NW Calgary, AB T2N 1N4
Dr. Edward McCauley, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calgary has struck an advisory committee chaired by Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dr. Penny Werthner, inviting applications from outstanding scholars and leaders for the position of Director, School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary.
Located in Canada’s most enterprising city, the traditional territory of the peoples of Treaty 7 and Region 3 of the Métis Nation of Alberta, the University of Calgary (UCalgary) is a global and innovative intellectual hub for teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and community engagement.
UCalgary is one of Canada’s top comprehensive research universities, with over 8,000 graduate students and 28,500 undergraduate students, more than 1,800 academic staff (continuing, contingent term or limited term appointment), and more than 3,200 non-academic staff, in 14 Faculties, across five campuses. Our focus on innovation and entrepreneurial thinking is giving our students the tools to succeed in our changing economy. The vibrant and research-intensive environment at UCalgary is home to 169 research chairs (75 Canada Research Chairs), and more than 50 research institutes and centres. UCalgary has the fastest growth rate in attracting research funding among the 10 largest universities in Canada. The recently completed Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High, was the third-largest fundraising campaign in Canadian history, surpassing our goal of $1.3 Billion.
We strive to innovate and create societal impact. With a consolidated budget of more than $1.4 billion, which includes an annual operating budget of just over $800 million and external research revenues of over $500 million, the University of Calgary is among Calgary's largest employers and contributes nearly $16.5 billion annually to Alberta’s economy.
Building on the success of the Eyes High strategy, the University is embarking on a new strategic visioning process to continue our excellence in research and teaching and strengthen our community engagement in one of Canada’s most diverse and fastest growing cities. This new strategy will be supported by the University of Calgary’s Framework for Growth , academic and research plans as well as the Equity, Diversity, Inclusive and Accessibilit y, Indigenous , mental health and sustainability strategies . It will put the University of Calgary on course to be the entrepreneurial university – one where students, faculty and staff face fewer barriers to innovation and more tools to change the world around them. To learn more about this vision please see:
The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary is Canada's leading policy school. It is home to highly motivated applied policy researchers and educators, as well as experienced government, non-profit, and private sector practitioners. With 13 transdisciplinary research faculty, 7 managers and directors, 63 staff including support staff, project coordinators, research associates, research assistants and postdoctoral staff and 75 fellows, the School provides focused, non-partisan, and pragmatic perspectives on public policy issues and practices across the following areas: International Policy and Trade; Social Policy and Health; Energy and Environmental Policy; and Fiscal and Economic Policy. The School is also home to two major Applied Policy Outreach Centres: the Extractive Resource Governance Program (ERGP); and the Simpson Centre for Agricultural and Food Innovation . The portfolio of applied policy research and community outreach undertaken through the research divisions and Centres is global in focus, and has achieved significant impact in policy debates provincially, nationally, and internationally. The School offers two graduate programs: Master of Public Policy (MPP) and the MSc in Sustainable Energy Development (SEDV).
Amongst other metrics, the School's research, outreach, and educational activities culminated, in recent years, in $4.4 million average per year in research funding, 120 research projects, more than 60 hosted events every year, and 95% of graduating Masters of Public Policy students placed in policy-related roles or undertaking further education. Publishing, in house, more than 72 reports a year, the School is the most cited source of trusted policy options in Canada.
Reporting to the Provost and Vice-President (Academic), the new Director, School of Public Policy will be an accomplished policy professional with a deep understanding of and respect for research and the implementation and mobilization of this research as central to the policy dialogue. Potentially holding but not requiring doctoral qualifications, the Director will be a pragmatic leader with a track record of building relationships and effecting change in a policy context. As a strategic visionary, the Director will be responsible for: defining standards of excellence and identifying directions for new growth; engaging with community on- and off-campus to develop the relationships and funds required to achieve that new growth; and leading the overall administration of the School’s academic research, non-academic operations, and graduate education mission. The Director will enhance the School's position in campus, municipal, provincial, national, and international settings by working collaboratively with an engaged internal executive team, and across campus with other leaders to develop and implement the School's next strategic vision. As a trustworthy and visible leader, the Director will guide and promote this vision in a manner that attracts resources and secures funding to sustain and grow the school.
The Director will engage and lead a unified team with a culture that promotes collaboration, mutual respect, open communication, and extraordinary academic and research activities that are relevant and produce visible impact. As an engaged and purposeful leader, the Director will inspire and cultivate relationships with students, faculty, staff, alumni, experienced policy practitioners in business, government, the non-profit sector, and cultural communities, to sustain and enhance the reputation of the School of Public Policy. As an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, the Director will focus on building new, and deepening existing relationships with policy stakeholders.
The successful candidate will be a recognized expert in public policy with demonstrated organizational leadership and administrative management skills. This leader will have a proven capacity to advocate, build trust, influence, and collaborate. They will demonstrate proven success in policy engagement or development, academic productivity, and building community partnerships. A track record in securing external funding through the development of strong relationships with the local, national and international communities, all levels of government, and alumni is essential.
The ideal candidate will hold an undergraduate degree in a discipline relevant to public policy, and will benefit from having acquired a PhD, professional graduate degree or comparable terminal degree. The successful candidate also will have a proven track record and experience with leadership in creating space for people who hold diverse perspectives, and will actively lead local implementation of university strategies including Indigenous (ii' taapoh'to'p), Sustainability , Global Engagement , Mental Health , as well as an emerging EDIA strategy. With a renewed financial commitment from the Government of Alberta, the next Dean will drive positive growth and change, inspiring faculty, students, staff, and community partners to ensure the School of Public Policy maintains and augments its status as Canada’s leading policy school.
The appointment as Director, School of Public Policy is for a five-year period with the possibility of renewal. The successful candidate will be offered an academic position “With Tenure” at the rank of Professor.
Recently ranked the 5th most liveable city in the world (2019) by The Economist, and possessing one of the youngest populations of major cities in Canada, Calgary is home to world-class attractions, sporting amenities and public infrastructure that supports a healthy lifestyle, making it a great place to raise a family ( ). Situated where the Canadian plains reach the sunny foothills of Canada’s majestic Rocky Mountains, Calgary is a major urban centre surrounded by an area of profound beauty with awe-inspiring mountains, lakes, rivers and gorgeous prairie.
Consistently rated by the United Nations as the world’s best country to live in, Canada is the world’s second largest country by total area and is one of the most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations. Canada ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education.
To learn about our comprehensive benefits package for this Calgary-based, English-speaking position, please visit .
Janet Soles and Associates has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of the University of Calgary. For more information about this opportunity or to apply, please send your curriculum vitae and letter of interest in confidence, with the subject line “SPP Director” to [email protected]
As an equitable and inclusive employer, the University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities. Questions regarding [diversity] EDI at UCalgary can be sent to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ( [email protected] ) and requests for accommodations can be sent to Human Resources ( [email protected] ).
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. In this connection, at the time of your application, please answer the following question: Are you a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada? (Yes/No)

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