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President Loreman’s report to GFC, August 9, 2019.

Posted on: Aug 9, 2019

Stampede dinner with Premier Kenney:

On July 5 I attended a Stampede Kick-Off Dinner in Calgary with Premier Kenney, at the invitation of Crestview Strategy. I was fortunate enough to be seated next to the Premier and opposite the US Ambassador to Canada, Kelly Craft (soon to be moving to the role of US Ambassador the UN). This was an excellent opportunity to develop a relationship with the Premier in a relaxed and candid atmosphere.

Stephen Mandel returns to CUE:

Our Chancellor Stephen Mandel took a leave from CUE as he pursued political activities in Alberta. Having concluded those activities he now returns with energy and ideas. Stephen wants to be a visible presence on campus, and he wants to participate in and even lead various initiatives to improve things for our students. I welcome him back, and I am very much looking forward to working with him again.

Campus master plan and related issues:

Related to our exponentially high growth rate is the pressure on our facilities. The issues with our dormitories is well known: they are inadequate and do not reflect well upon us. Should the enrolment trend continue we will also soon be in desperate need of a new academic building, likely including classrooms, labs, offices, student study space, and other service spaces. I am, however, not prepared to move ahead on any of this until we have a solid plan for the future of the entire campus. For this reason we are working on a new Campus Master Plan that will provide us with a road map for the future. This will include what buildings we need, where, and in what order. This plan will assume acquisition of space on the former Northlands site.

Once the plan is finalized we will likely move forward quickly with the planning and construction of a new academic building.

With respect to dormitories, a representative committee of stakeholders is evaluating the merits of two proposals by private entrepreneurs to build and operate dormitories off-site. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with each proposal, and building our own dormitories continues to remain an option.

GFC retreat:

On August 29 we will be holding our first GFC Retreat, generously hosted and sponsored by Field Law. The intent is to assist GFC to better understand our role in the governance structure at CUE, and to discuss an issue that has direct relevance, teaching and learning resources.

Pre-budget submission (Federal):

To my knowledge CUE has never provided government at any level with a pre-budget submission. With assistance from Crestview Strategy we provided our first one to the Federal government earlier this month, supporting the submission presented by Universities Canada, our national association, which highlights the critical role that universities play in strengthening local economies and providing solutions to climate change and the most pressing global challenges. Our two recommendations were: 1) To expand investments in international research collaboration to ensure Canada and CUE can fully participate in world-leading, interdisciplinary, international research to address climate change and other pressing global issues, and; 2) To invest in a new knowledge mobilization fund to increase the impact of CUE’s research in driving Canada’s economic, climate, and social priorities.

Leadership program:

A leadership program has been designed for the 2019-20 academic year. The intent of this program is to create a pool of CUE employees who have developed effective leadership skills that will assist them in their current and potential future roles at CUE. The program is open to all employees (staff, faculty, sessional instructors, part-time and casual employees) and is led by Concordia’s senior leadership team. A blended learning approach to content delivery will be utilized, including:

  • Six face-to-face workshops over the course of the 2019-20 academic year.
  • Moodle support for each module – videos, articles, discussion groups.
  • Monthly small group discussions based on scenarios and case studies relevant to the module.
  • Bi-weekly touch base with leadership partners in groups of three for accountability (to check that you have read the articles, etc). and for real-time problem solving.

An introductory meeting for any interested participants will be held on September 3, 2019, 4:30pm-5:30pm.

International update:
CUE is now approved for Erasmus+ scholarships with the following new and existing partners, and another two partners are inviting us to submit application for Erasmus+ financing in the Fall: 

  • Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain
  • University of Porto, Portugal
  • University of Szczecin, Poland
  • Athens University, IT, Business, and Management, Greece

Five students are heading for study abroad in Fall 2019, four to Spain and one to Barbados. We have also signed new exciting partnership with Unisinos (University of the Sinos Valley), in South Brazil for academic and technological cooperation

Our colleague Zuzana Ritzer, Manager of International Relations, leaves us today and is moving to Calgary. We thank her for her excellent service in building up our international relations. Amanda Thorson is returning to CUE to fill the position later this month.