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Dr. Loreman’s report on his first 100 days as CUE president

Posted on: Apr 10, 2017

Having today completed the first 100 days of my presidency, it is time to communicate what has been accomplished over that period of time. In January I set out an ambitious agenda for my first 100 days.

I am pleased to say that what was outlined in that agenda has been accomplished. This is not solely due to my efforts, but is thanks mainly to the efforts of our community here at Concordia, including our Board, staff, faculty, and students. Our accomplishments relative to that agenda are outlined below:

  • Listening. A number of opportunities have been provided to allow me to listen to our community here at Concordia. I have been engaging with students in informal discussions over coffee in Tegler a number of times each week, in addition to monthly scheduled ‘Coffee with the president’ events for students. I have also held structured a listening session intended for faculty and staff, with more to follow in the next couple of weeks. Importantly, I have left room in my schedule to provide for one-on-one informal conversations with our faculty and staff across campus. I have also met with a very large number of politicians and community leaders at all levels, and my president counterparts at institutions throughout Alberta and Canada. These conversations have all been most instructive and helpful, and will provide me with the basis to move forward while at the same time continuing to listen.
  • Development of a communications strategy. An internal and external communications strategy for the President’s Office has been developed, led by our Marketing and Communications Department, a summary of which may be found here (internal) and here (external). Following these plans will be important in order to ensure that the complex task of communicating with all stakeholder groups in managed in a deliberate and structured way.
  • Continuing to shape the administration of the President’s Office. Our staff in the President’s Office have investigated and engaged in implementing some effective practices to enhance their work. Notably, they have been able to better define their roles with respect to the moving the work of the institution forward.
  • Developing a mutual understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the president with the Board of Governors. The Board devoted time for discussion and consideration of a document that I provided to it in order to come to a mutual understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the president at my first Board meeting in February. An outline of the most relevant section of this document can be found here. There is a shared recognition that this document will likely change over time as my presidency evolves. This was a valuable discussion that will enhance our work together moving forward.
  • Consideration of our fundraising strategies. Working in close collaboration with our Development department two documents have been produced that will help guide our fundraising in the short and medium term. The first relates specifically to the capital campaign for our new Centre for Science, Research, and Innovation. The second is a more general strategic fundraising plan for the university. I have already held a number of meetings with potential donors and prominent Edmontonians who may be able to assist us in our fundraising efforts.

I also engaged in many activities outside of my stated agenda, including but not limited to a mission to the Yukon and NWT with Mayor Iveson, a Universities Canada seminar for new presidents, meetings with Minister Schmidt and Deputy Minister Rod Skura (who visited Concordia), work with the Board on a number of issues (including the announcement of our next Chancellor and a Town Hall), attending athletics events, representing Concordia at community events, continuing with my own research, and all the other tasks that a president must do. It has been a wonderful time of action and learning. I have particularly enjoyed building my relationship with our students in this new role, and have benefitted from wonderful support from our entire community.

My main objective in January was to “…assess the road ahead in order to advance CUE’s Mission and Vision.” I now look forward to moving to the next phase of my presidency. Over the next year I intend to have a new academic plan developed that takes into account who we are, what we are good at, what we should focus on, and how we can ensure a combination of growth and sustainability into the future. I intend to continue as I have started, by listening to our community, and involving stakeholders in decision-making, planning, and the implementation of our ideas. The support and participation of our entire community will be asked for as we move Concordia towards our second century and local, national, and international recognition as Canada’s preeminent small university.