Jim Dinning, seen in 2006, will be the University of Calgary's 12th chancellor. ((Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press))

Former Calgary MLA Jim Dinning will take over as chancellor of the University of Calgary on July 1.

The university's senate confirmed the position on Tuesday, allowing Dinning to start a four-year term next week as the 12th ceremonial head of the school.

"I can't think of a more exciting time to be joining this vital Calgary institution," Dinning said in a statement.

Dinning was the MLA for Calgary Shaw for 11 years, including serving as education minister and provincial treasurer in Ralph Klein's cabinet.

Dinning unsuccessfully ran for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative party in 2006, losing to Ed Stelmach, who led the Tories to victory in the provincial election.

Outgoing chancellor Joanne Cuthbertson praised Dinning as passionate and accomplished.

"Jim's experience, the value he places on post-secondary education, and his strong ties to the corporate, government and non-profit sectors make him an outstanding choice for chancellor," she said.

Chancellors are volunteers who represent the university at ceremonies and convocations. They also serve on the institution's senate and board of governors.