Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said that the agreement is a perfect fit because the city and the university already share many of the same values and aspirations, such as a commitment to community, a desire to explore innovation, an emphasis on diversity and a goal of living more sustainably.
“The university and city are interdependent, and our relationship has helped to define the evolution of our community,” said Clark. “As we look to the future, this MOU helps to improve our opportunities for collaboration, builds on each other’s strengths, and positions us for success in a changing world.”
U of S President Peter Stoicheff said that while the university has historically worked to strengthen communities it serves through education, research and engagement, this agreement means efforts to partner will be even more purposeful and deliberate.
“Great cities have great universities – the partnership and collaboration we are celebrating today helps ensure we will have both for generations to come,” said Stoicheff. “The university community has a wealth of knowledge, expertise and human power – faculty, staff and students – that can help find solutions to issues of mutual concern. Our goal is to harness that and inspire the world through meaningful change. That starts right here in Saskatoon.”
“The relationship between the city and university has already been strong and productive, resulting in a range of initiatives addressing strategic infill, transportation needs and sustainability, to projects centered on recreation, joint research and student learning opportunities,” said Clark. “What we have committed to today is about the future, because in Saskatoon we have all of the elements in place to work with our university and lead the country in many of the biggest issues facing cities today.”
Stoicheff said that the relationship is based not only on location but also on the large number of people connected to the U of S who live in the city.
“The U of S is a significant economic driver for the city, with nearly 30,000 faculty, staff and students who live, work, volunteer, shop, participate in recreation and community events, and give back to the city,” said Stoicheff. “Beyond that, more than 38,000 U of S alumni call Saskatoon home, comprising about 15 per cent of the city’s population. So, it is critical that we are involved in giving back to our community.”
Important to the success of the agreement will be a working group that will determine future projects and areas of engagement, Clark said.
“This MOU is so much more than just reinforcing what we have already done,” said Clark. “It’s about a new approach of intentional collaboration and problem solving to create the best results for our community.”
While the agreement is new, both Clark and Stoicheff said they are confident in the potential outcomes showing great benefit to the city and university and being a model for similar partnerships in the city, province and country.
“We are proud to be a part of this vibrant community and today the long-standing relationship between the City of Saskatoon and the U of S becomes a formal partnership,” said Stoicheff. “Saskatoon and the U of S are leaders in Canada and in time our partnership will also set an example for other cities and their universities to follow.”
For more information contact:
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan
Chief of Staff
Office of the Mayor
City of Saskatoon