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President Loreman’s report to GFC, December 14, 2018

Posted on: Dec 14, 2018

Campus incident.

As you are aware from my statement two weeks ago, we were recently informed by the Edmonton Police Service that a non-academic employee of Concordia University of Edmonton has been criminally charged with alleged voyeurism. Concordia University of Edmonton has a zero-tolerance policy for such behaviour, which goes against our code of conduct and sexual violence policies. The person is no longer employed at CUE and is banned from University grounds.

Upon being informed Concordia University of Edmonton’s administration immediately activated our crisis management plan and embarked on efforts to mitigate any potential harm and to provide supports to members of our community who might require it. The full extent or exact nature of the allegations are not yet known, and it is not known whether or not these matters otherwise involve or affect any member of the Concordia University of Edmonton community directly. We have searched select public areas and our residences for cameras or evidence of camera placement in the past, and did not find any.

We continue to work closely with the Edmonton Police Service on this matter and will share any future relevant information as appropriate and in a timely manner. Should it transpire that any member of the Concordia community is impacted, we have a plan in place for the provision of support.

Allan Wachowich Centre for Science, Research, and Innovation.

On November 29 we held an event at which we officially announced that our new building will be named the Allan Wachowich Centre for Science Research and Innovation (AWC). The evening was attended by a number of people from the Concordia community, along with invited members of the public. The evening featured demonstrations of some of the activities that will be taking place in the building.

Cybersecurity education grant

CUE has recently been awarded (pending formal written confirmation of the detailed budget) a grant of $90,000 to develop a new, non-credit course called Cybersecurity Core Concepts. A bare-bones proposal had been submitted to the Ministry in response to a call, all in relation to Advanced Education’s initiatives around technology training and education. Between now and March 31, we will therefore now be designing this non-credit, introductory course, intended to allow individuals with little or no cybersecurity experience become familiar with various career options and related educational requirements related to the emerging field of information systems security and assurance.

We lit the tree.

On Saturday, December 1 we held a nice community event in the afternoon at which children and their families, along with members of our CUE community, did crafts, took sleigh rides, enjoyed food and hot chocolate, sang carols and, yes, lit the tree. It was an excellent turn-out and helps CUE to further advance its role as a member of the local Highlands community. Why, you might ask, does a secular university have a lit up manger on the front lawn? It’s a recognition of our heritage and our inclusiveness. Just as we recognize different religious events in different ways, so too with Christian events.

Tuition backfill and Alberta Capital Finance Authority Loans.

In collaboration with the Concordia Students’ Association I have written a letter to Minister Schmidt requesting that Concordia, for the first time in 6 years, be included in the tuition backfill provided to the public institutions in 2019-20. If we are successful we will be able to freeze any tuition increases for that year.

Additionally, in collaboration with the other Independent Academic Institutions, a letter has been sent to Minister Schmidt requesting access to Alberta Capital Finance Authority loans for our sector. Such loans are considerably cheaper and can be amortized over a significantly longer period of time compared to bank loans. Currently, only public institutions may access these loans.

International update.

CUE was again very successful in securing Erasmus+ mobility placements/funds from University of Porto, Portugal. Out of a total pool of 6 scholarships, CUE was able to secure three spots – two administrative placements for Judy Kruse and Nikki DeOliviera, and one academic placement for Dr. Bill Anderson. In addition Dr. Cecilia Bukutu will travel to University of Szczecin under Erasmus + before June 2019.

CUE signed a new MOU and exchange agreement with Unochapeco in Brazil that offers our students paid internship. We also signed a new MOU and exchange agreement with Ural Federal University, Russia.

The International office is working on an agreement with University of Malaga that will send one student majoring in Spanish linguistics in Malaga each year to CUE. The student will help our Spanish instructors in the classroom and provide great value to our students who are learning Spanish.

Our Centre for Chinese Studies will follow up on the implementation of the various new agreements signed in China this fall. Recruitment for our 2019 Summer programs recruitment is on track: Capital Normal University has asked to send 20 students to study from June 29 to September 29, taking 9 credits and other academic and fine arts enrichment sessions. Dr. Xinxin Fang was invited to present at the 13th International Symposium on Chinese Language Teaching from Nov. 7-9 in Beijing. This is an international conference held by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters every three years. About 400 people attended. Her presentation was on Accountability Pillar and Assessment Reform in k to 12 Education in Alberta.