May 1, 2023

Janaka Ruwanpura’s term as vice-provost and associate vice-president research (international) extended

A message from Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Penny Werthner
Janaka Ruwanpura
Janaka Ruwanpura says diversity is a valuable element in our society.

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura, PhD, has accepted an extension of his role as vice-provost and associate vice-president research (international) to March 31, 2024.

Dr. Ruwanpura, who has an extensive background in research, administration, training and teaching within the international sector, was first appointed to the role of vice-provost in 2013. A former Fulbright U.S. scholar, he has over 180 publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings and served as a Canada Research Chair in Project Management Systems from 2007 to 2013. Dr. Ruwanpura holds a PhD in construction engineering and management from the University of Alberta and has been with UCalgary for 22 years. He has been recognized with numerous awards, recognitions and fellowships for teaching, research, graduate education, leadership, service, and internationalization locally, nationally, and internationally. In 2022, Canadian Immigrant Magazine selected him as one of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants.

During his time as vice-provost and associate vice-president research, he has helped to establish many new initiatives such as:

  • Strategically expanding University of Calgary International (UCI) to serve academic and research priorities, most recently establishing a new unit of International Research Partnership and Innovation.
  • Developing and implementing collaborative degree models for undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Co-developing Global Research Initiatives and Sites for research and infrastructure in China and Mexico.
  • Establishing new research and partnership opportunities in countries such as Germany, Norway, Singapore, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Promoting new funding models to further international experiences for students and enhance global exposure for faculty and staff.
  • Raising research internships through a dedicated partnership with Mitacs, a non-profit national research organization focused on industrial and social innovation.
  • Lobbying for international development grants.
  • Establishing an international research partnership and strategic university alliance with Curtin University, Australia, and Aberdeen University, United Kingdom.

Thanks to Dr. Ruwanpura’s tireless work encouraging the university’s internationalization and development on the global stage, UCalgary has won six awards since 2016, including the Institutional Platinum Award for Global Learning, Research, and Engagement, Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), the first and only Canadian university so far to receive this award, the Catalyst award for innovation from Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE)  and the Innovation award in internalization from the Association of International Education Administration (AIEA).

Dr. Ruwanpura has proven himself to be a driving force in the field of internationalization. His expertise and dedication to heightening UCalgary’s status as a global intellectual hub makes him an indispensable guide on the university’s journey to global engagement. His leadership has been recognized in the global engagement community including a Board of Directors Leadership Award from CBIE and an International Achievement Award from The City of Calgary in 2020. In 2020, Dr. Ruwanpura was elected to chair the Commission of International Initiatives of APLU, the first Canadian to chair any councils and commissions of APLU.

Please join me in thanking Janaka as he continues to lead our global engagement work over the next year.

Penny Werthner, PhD 
Interim Provost and Vice-President (Academic)  

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