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President Loreman’s report to GFC, July 13, 2018

Posted on: Jul 13, 2018

Canadian University Survey Consortium (CUSC) results

Those following me on Twitter (@CUE_President) will be aware that we have received the results of the 2018 CUSC survey, which once again is highly complimentary with respect to our work. As in previous years we vastly exceeded the Canadian average in terms of student satisfaction. In particular, we were rated very highly on…

  • Meeting general expectations
  • Overall satisfaction with quality of education
  • Feelings of belonging for students
  • Satisfaction with the decision to attend CUE
  • Financial assistance through scholarships and bursaries
  • Value for money
  • Concern shown for students as individuals
  • Graduates recommending CUE to others.

We did not do well on parking and food services. We are in the process of comparing these results to those of previous years, and discussing what might be done with respect to food services.

Academic Plan 2018-2023 update.

Following broad and varied consultation over the past year or more, the Academic Plan is now moving into its final phase of consultation. In response to a request from GFC a draft has been posted to Alfresco.

Comments may be posted by email to vpacademic@concordia.ab.ca or to the discussion site.

The deadline for comments is August 20, 2018 after which feedback will be considered and where appropriate modifications will be made to the plan. Following that, we will move forward to approval and implementation of the plan.

Mixed-gender residences.

Consistent with practice at other universities, Concordia is moving towards mixed-gender residences. Up to now Founders Hall has been a men’s residence and Eberhardt Hall has been for women, with non-binary identifying students choosing where they feel most comfortable. This arrangement produced some disparities with respect to residence services and led to less gender inclusive residence activities. While under the new arrangement male and female students will still live in separate floors and areas, the buildings will no longer be single gender, with the exception of Wangerin House that remains women only.

Campus space considerations.

Campus space, and particularly office assignments, are very sensitive issues on university campuses, perhaps equalled only by parking issues. Our increase in students has presented us with a very happy problem – where do we teach all these new people? Classroom space is becoming tighter and we are taking steps to alleviate the problems, but this may produce some measure of discomfort for some people. Teaching, however, is our core function and we need to prioritize space for that. In the medium term, should we build a new student residence building we can convert Founders Hall to include some classroom space, which will help. In the long term, it is clear that we will need to look at a new academic building for office and classroom space.

Each year we look at office assignments and make decisions in the best interests of the institution. Often people do not like to move offices, and moving people without reason is not something we are interested in doing. However, sometimes it is necessary. It is best to always view ourselves as temporary occupants of the offices we are in, which are Concordia’s to allocate and not our own personal spaces.

Parking issues

            The cost of parking on campus for all Concordia employees is set to increase. A recent analysis of our parking charges has led us to the conclusion that we are currently charging employees well below market rate for parking, and this needs to be rectified. Why? Because cheap parking is considered to be a taxable benefit by the Canada Revenue Agency and we need to comply with their requirements. Either Concordia charges more for parking, or you will be taxed on that benefit. For that reason we are increasing what we charge for parking, phasing it in over a two-year period in order to reduce the immediate burden as much as possible. Communication will be forthcoming from the Office of the VP Finance and Operations, including a more comprehensive explanation and rationale for the increase.

Our scramble parking outside of Tegler was congested at times this year. With the completion of construction, we expect that this situation will improve.

International update.

We have signed a strategic MOU with the School of Medicine and Public of Bahia (BAHIANA), Northern Brazil, for a cooperation in the area of child mental health, and early and middle childhood development. Also, a new partnership has been approved and will be signed by CUE with Athens University of Economics and Business for Erasmus+ cooperation, adding to our current European-funded partnerships with Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Poland. The approval is for 2 students and 3 staff approved per year.

We are working on setting in place a comprehensive procedure for protocol for international and domestic visits that should be ready by the end of the summer. CUE has an increased number of incoming and outgoing missions on all levels, professor, staff, senior admins, state, provincial and federal dignitaries who will benefit from this guidance.

CUE remains a strong partner with the Canadian government for ELAP and this time there is a call for professors to apply to scholarships for short missions to the countries involved (Latin America and the Caribbean). Please contact the International Office for further information.