The University of Calgary and the Universities Act: Telling the Story of Purposiveness


  • Eugene E. Dais



Departing from a conventional account of the history and events that culminated in the establishment of the University of Calgary, the author provides a purposive approach to the 1966 Universities Act. The author argues that as an enabling statute, the Act is an unfinishable legal fact. It exists as a framework to coordinate action to serve the public interest. As such, it calls for a complex purposive interpretation rooted in the theoretical underpinnings of moral legalism. Drawing on Dworkin's notion of interpretive integrity, the author demonstrates how ambiguities on the face of the Act can best be resolved by applying the principles of inclusive and pure integrity. The author's analysis reveals that the University of Calgary professoriat does not merely constitute a group of "scholarly servants", but rather a "company of scholars".