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Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, the president of the University of Calgary, is photographed in the Taylor Family Digital Library on Feb. 1, 2011.Chris Bolin/The Globe and Mail

The president of the University of Calgary has announced she will resign.

Elizabeth Cannon has said she will step down at the end of 2018.

"It has been an honour and a privilege," Cannon said in a video message posted on the university's website. "We have done great things."

Cannon did not give details as to why she plans to step down.

Cannon served as president and vice-chancellor since July 2010. Before her appointment, she was the dean of the university's engineering faculty.

Her term saw the introduction of the university's Eyes High program, which sought to see the school ranked among Canada's top five research universities by 2022.

Last year, Maclean's magazine ranked the university 10th in Canada by overall reputation. The Times Higher Education supplement from the United Kingdom put it seventh.

The university's own report noted top-five performances in a number of areas, including fundraising and endowment – up about one-third since 2012 to $888-million.

The university continues to attract fewer research dollars from Canada's major government funding bodies than other major schools. But its per-capita share of sponsored research programs – which includes funding from corporations, foreign governments and foundations – is among the highest in Canada.

Concerns over such research have caused controversy at the university during Cannon's tenure.

The Canadian Association of University Teachers found Cannon was in a conflict of interest over a 2011 plan for a research centre funded by Enbridge Inc. that the association said was also subject to influence from the company. The association added that faculty and staff had been intimidated from speaking out on the issue.

An internal investigation by a retired judge cleared Cannon of any wrongdoing.

The association said at the time such concerns were not unique to the University of Calgary.

Board of governors chairman Gordon Ritchie said a search to replace Cannon will begin immediately.

"She is a wonderful president, one of the best in the country, and has more than fulfilled her mandate," he said in a statement.

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