President Loreman’s report to GFC, June 14, 2019.Posted on: Jun 14, 2019
With the change in government we have been working hard to build positive relationships with the new MLAs. We have contracted with Crestview Strategy to assist us in developing and implementing a new government relations strategy. This is already bearing fruit. I was pleased that the Minister of Advanced Education, Hon. Demetrios Nicolaides, attended our Convocation, and I have had a pleasant introductory phone call with him and interactions with his ministerial staff. I have also invited our new MLA Hon. Janice Irwin to CUE for a coffee and have had some brief but pleasant interactions with her. As always our MP Hon. Kerry Diotte and neighbouring MP Hon. Ziad Aboultaif remain well connected to our institution, as does Councillor Tony Caterina and others on City council. I will be attending a VIP event at the Calgary Stampede in early July that I hope will further connect us in this regard.
Generative GFC meeting on learning resources:
The time has come for our community to discuss teaching and learning resources. We have experienced such profound change in the past few years that an evaluation of which direction we want to head as an institution is in order. While traditional textbooks obviously still exist, we are now faced with new publishing models, such as the so-called ‘Inclusive Access’ model, which may not be as inclusive as the name suggests. In addition, Open Educational Resources (OERs), which are on the surface free to use, are already causing disruption in the academic publishing world. How can we best navigate this situation at CUE? GFC is best placed to guide us, therefore, we will be engaging in a Generative GFC meeting in the near future in order to discern the best way forward.
CUE in the media:
Concordia has had a successful month in the media. Following the opening of the Allan Wachowich Centre for Science, Research, and Innovation I have been interviewed on radio stations 630CHED and the CBC. I appeared on the Global Weekend Morning show with Mike Wade, which was followed up with a story on our CT Scan project through the CAAI featuring Ed Boraas and Dr. Dan Lindsay from our Board. Following the sad passing of Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour, CUE was mentioned in Canada’s Senate by Senator Paula Simons, in the Edmonton Journal, and in various other media formats.
International officer Faye Salins visited NAFSA in Washington D.C. and had a very fruitful discussion with 4 partners in Europe that offered Erasmus+ participation. The IO is in touch with the potential partners, negotiating conditions of the agreements. CUE now boasts the largest Erasmus+ activity in Alberta.
Dr. Xin Chen and 11 students recently returned from Brazil where they conducted research at the Pro Mata research facility in the rainforest and on the coast for marine biology. A further 3 students who were nominated through the CSA to attend Southwest University for their summer program departed on June 11, spending a week with BFSU students in Beijing and two weeks with students from all over the world in Chongqing.
The Centre for Chinese Studies signed agreements with CNU, QLNU and EDUHK for summer programs. Therefore, 40 Education undergraduate students will come to CUE from July 2 to Oct 1 to join in a variety of credit courses and non-credit extension courses. The CCS wants to thank ALL departments (Admission, Registration, Finance, IT, all Faculties, Student life and learning, Plant Operations, etc) that have been involved with the program preparation and look forward to work with all departments intensively in the next 3 to 4 months.
The Concordia Connects Award for Community and Culture (CCACC) is being set up by the Office of Extension and Culture (OEC). This award is made possible by the generous donation from an anonymous sponsor. The award is available in two categories: $3000 available annually for community outreach initiatives, and $2000 available annually for culture initiatives. CUE’s students, sessional instructors, and faculty are eligible to apply for the award. Detailed information of application will be posted online, or please contact OEC for information.
The Concordia Symphony Concerto Competition for Youth will be launched soon. As part of the Extension and Culture projects, the OEC worked closely with the School of Music to make this event possible. Full details can be viewed at Concordia.ab.ca/concerto-comp.
Finally, CUE is an institutional member of CAUCE (Canadian Association for University Continuing Education). Anyone working at CUE is qualified to apply for a membership at CAUCE for free. CAUCE provides research grants, project grants, webinars, and data for continuing education and life long learning. The OEC encourages everyone at CUE consider joining CAUCE and get connected with other universities in Canada
The value of our Indigenous Knowledge and Research Centre (IKRC):
Since our launch in Fall, the IKRC has seen 1599 participants across 32 programs. Variance in attendance depended on the room available and capacity of the program (eg. ribbon skirt making only had room for 10 participants). The IKRC can only host 35 people at a time comfortably.
Breaking down our attendance:
- Our research series (5 installments) saw an average of 20.2 participants, the majority of which were students. Attendance has remained quite stable.
- Feasts (soup and bannock) saw an average of 27.625 participants. This program in particular grew rapidly as the year went on.
- Ceremonies represented our highest attendance numbers (Round Dance and Tea Dance). Sweatlodge ceremonies saw an average of 14.5 students in attendance.
- Ribbon skirt making, beading, and medicine bag making saw on average 10.14 students per session. This was due to material costs and we had to cap it.
- We hosted a Christmas party for Indigenous students and their families which saw close to 40 people attend.
- Two sharing circles were facilitated and both were done with a secured audience. One with the field placement class in the psychology department (34 participants) and the other with the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Men debrief (35 participants). Additional sharing circles will be offered throughout the academic year beginning in Fall 2018.
Electronic survey (e-mailed 02/04/2019) results included:
- 12 responses: 11 students, 1 staff member. 75% of respondents were between the ages of 18-34 years old. 66.7% of respondents identified as Indigenous (First Nation, Metis or Inuit).
- 75% of respondents have visited the IKRC more than 10 times. The top two reasons for visiting (9 respondents identified) were to hangout in the IKRC and to attend programs.
- 75% of respondents would agree that their understanding of Indigenous cultures, histories and perspectives increased after visiting the IKRC.
- 4% of respondents rated their satisfaction of their experience in the IKRC as either 4 or 5 (5 being the highest).
- Suggested research topics from respondents included:
- Traditional land use topics
- Modern applications of First Nations understanding.
- Opportunities for cultural learning for non-Indigenous people.
- Rate of graduation for Indigenous students – best practices
- Suggestions on how the IKRC can do better:
- More notification for events
- Have more staff to cover off when the manager is unavailable to assist
- Maybe quieter? The space gets too loud.
- Providing more information on future degrees or work possibilities.
- Study sessions before exams.
- Elder days to interact and ask them questions.
- Other feedback:
- Concordia would be a lot worse off without the IKRC. The IKRC is like a second home.
- It’s the best place in the school right now. I have learned a plethora of understanding, and believe I now understand a hefty bit more than I did before.
- It is the best space in the school. Also, generally, among the quietest.
- Are ceremonies only for Indigenous people?
- Lovely space and good feeling of community.