The University of Alberta (U of A) is a public research university located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Founded in 1908 by Alexander Cameron Rutherford, the first premier of Alberta and Henry Marshall Tory, its first president, it is widely recognized as one of the best universities in Canada. The main campus covers 50 city blocks with over 90 buildings directly across the North Saskatchewan River from downtown Edmonton. The enabling legislation is the Post-secondary Learning Act.
As of 2005 the continued economic boom in Alberta, driven mainly by high energy prices, had resulted in multi-billion dollar government fiscal surpluses. This led to the introduction of Bill 1 by the provincial government, which creates a $4.5 billion endowment for Alberta's post-secondary institutions.