Provost and Vice-President (Academic)
Almost without exception, the presidents of large Canadian universities have found it both necessary and important to act as the external voice of the university - to donors, governments, alumni and potential partners. This has certainly been the case at the University of Alberta where the President has a clear mandate from the Board of Governors to focus on external links, internationalization and resource development.
The shift in the nature of the presidency necessitated an increased role for the Vice-President (Academic). In 1998 the title of Provost was added to the position. In July 2001 the formal title was changed to Provost and Vice-President (Academic), reflecting the new emphasis on the role in operational coordination. As Provost, the Vice-President Academic takes on a role that in some American universities is described as "executive vice-president". Our own Board and President have on occasion used the term "chief operating officer". Whatever the term, the Provost assumes significant responsibility for the internal management and governance of the institution.
The Provost is the senior Vice-President and collaborates with the President in making policy on administrative and academic matters that affect the university as a whole. As chief academic officer and chief operating officer (in function), the Provost leads the team of vice-presidents to ensure that portfolios and goals are aligned toward achievement of the university's vision. Academic leadership and overall institutional planning are the Provost's responsibility. The Provost liaises with government and industry regarding academic programs and their funding, and coordinates the university's international relations. In the absence of the President the Provost is acting President.
The Provost also has special responsibility for student issues. Strengthening the links to students, enhancing the well-being of students, and ensuring that student issues have a high profile in planning and decision making are substantive parts of this role.
The general operating practices of the University of Alberta are governed by the policies approved by the General Faculties Council and are found in UAPPOL. The Deans of the University's eighteen Faculties report directly to the Provost and Vice-President (Academic).