Early in 1998, the findings of the two-year long Strategic Transformation process began to be implemented at the University of Calgary. Created in May 1996 to integrate and coordinate strategic planning at the university, the Strategic Transformation Task Force was charged with the mandate of 1) developing a comprehensive and integrative plan for institutional ... »direction and 2) coordinating existing innovative efforts and identifying additional issues and activities that must be addressed for an integrated institutional approach.
The Task Force’s efforts culminated in the production of the document "Our Strategic Direction to the Future", which was approved by General Faculties Council and the Board of Governors in December 1996. The University then created several design and other situation assessment teams to evolve and develop action plans for implementing the Strategic Direction.
In February 1998 President Terry White announced the clustering of faculties into five strategic groups in order to accommodate some of the changes necessary for transformation. While the suggestion of some teams had been to reorganize the university into four “super-faculties”, Dr White’s view was that “any such proposals need very careful consideration because they involve major changes in structures that we know well, and it is important to ensure that any improvements expected are not accompanied by deterioration in the quality of our existing activities.” The strategic clusters would “encourage and support collaborative ventures that transcend boundaries between faculties, departments and other units” while allowing those units to retain their separate identities. The strategic clusters were:
The clusters were encouraged to develop their own identities and significant collaborative activities. Resource allocation would give priority to strategic clusters in order to ensure their success. In making his announcement, President White stated “the grouping of our facilities into Strategic Clusters for purposes of planning and resource allocation will help us to align the planning and actions of the university with our Strategic Direction without disrupting our existing operations…Strategic Clusters of faculties will facilitate and support the collaborations and partnerships that are essential in building on our existing strengths to create a university for the futu