In December 1967 the University of Calgary was notified of the resignation of its first President, Harold Armstrong, effective June 30, 1968. Armstrong was installed as
President in April 1966 after the Universities Act was given royal assent and the University of Calgary established as an autonomous institution. He left Calgary to take up the
position of Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Guelph.
In January1969 Dr Alfred William Rooke Carrothers was installed as the University of Calgary’s second President and Vice-Chancellor. A lawyer with degrees from the
University of British Columbia and Harvard Law School, Carrothers taught law at UBC and was Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario before being appointed as President at the University of Calgary. In his installation address Carrothers noted that he understood the contemporary university scene. “The quiet contemplative life of the academic of 20 years ago has become a highly competitive body-contact spectator sport without rules or referees.” Responding to recent student unrest on campus in which students were demanding a greater role in decision-making at the University, he added that “students are entitled to be involved in matters that affect their legitimate interests”. In later presentations to students he added that student rights must be balanced with student
responsibilities. The student must have full freedom of action so long as his studies were not seriously impaired or his university’s academic function not placed in jeopardy. “Students demand greater involvement in the operation of the university and we must find a way to extend individual involvement.”
During Carrothers’ term as President the University of Calgary’s Board of Governors expanded its membership to include students – the first university in Canada to do so. The Faculty of Environmental Design and the School of Nursing (which later became a Faculty) were established, and the physical development of the campus rapidly
expanded to include numerous new buildings, including Social Sciences, Science Theatres, Mathematical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Earth Sciences and Physical Plant.
Dr Carrothers was President of the University until 1974.