New U of C chancellor elected

By Felicia Pacentrilli

Joanne Cuthbertson–University of Calgary graduate, long-time advocate of education, scholarship donor, mother, wife, philanthropist, and now, chancellor.

On March 24th, Cuthbertson was elected as the university’s 11th chancellor, the third female to ever hold this position.

“She is also the first alumna of the U of C to be elected chancellor, which is especially fitting in commemoration of the university’s 40th anniversary,” said U of C senator and chair of the joint committee for chancellor search Anast Demitt. “It’s phenomenal to see graduates coming back and becoming chancellors.”

Officially, Cuthbertson will be responsible for representing the university in the community, chairing the Senate–a group of 62 volunteers with interest in the U of C–and chairing the Chancellors Club–a group of generous Calgarians who support the university. She’ll also assist with entrance scholarships and sit on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee. Cuthbertson will help in determining who receives honourary doctorates, preside over convocation ceremonies and confer degrees.

“My goal is for everyone to be proud of their university experience and have a sense of ownership of their time here,” said Cuthbertson. “Students should all feel really good about what they’re studying and where they are. And the faculty also needs to feel that they are teaching in the best place possible.”

To achieve this, Cuthbertson plans on taking action.

“I want to speak out to the public, be open to speaking to the media and talk to more students about their experiences,” she said. “I am going to narrow my focus, resign some of my other commitments and just be really dedicated to this position. I also want to increase public awareness of what a world-class establishment the U of C is. We have internationally ranked medicine, kinesiology, creative writing, and education faculties and I want the community to recognize that.”

Demitt said he’s confident Cuthbertson will be excellent for the U of C and the senate.

“She’s been an advocate of public education for a number of years, and her track record really speaks for itself,” he said.

Cuthbertson will be present at the official unveiling of the first of the 40 new spaces on campus and would love to start speaking to students about their education.

“Education really matters to me, it really is our tool to change the world,” she said.

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