Meaningful Engagement for Sustained Change: The University of Calgary


Mobilizing for Transformation:
How Campuses Are Preparing for the Knowledge Age


By Howard Yeager, Gayla Rogers, Donna Finley

The University of Calgary illustrates how a campuswide visioning process can be utilized to leverage and unleash the forces of change. This case demonstrates extensive use of campus visioning and strategizing groups, broad participatory visioning processes, redirection of existing planning and resource allocation processes, and opportunities for Knowledge Age Learning.

The University of Calgary, like other Canadian institutions, has been undergoing substantial change and resource reallocation over the past decade. To leverage these efforts, the university embarked on a major institutional transformation initiative.

This initiative began in the spring of 1996, with the purpose of examining the rapidly changing environment for both the university and postsecondary education in general, to learn more about new challenges and opportunities for the university to engage, and to set and implement new strategic directions. The process has been characterized by high levels of consultation and dialogue both on the university campus and in the Calgary community. It has been facilitated by external experts in organizational change, who have guided the process and helped the campus mobilize its expertise to face the many issues that have arisen.

These efforts will result in a series of implemented changes, and the university plans to continue with several cycles of redesign and implementation efforts during the next two or three years.