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President Loreman’s report to GFC, June 8, 2018

Posted on: Jun 8, 2018

Minister Schmidt on campus to announce technology seats.

On Thursday, June 7, Minister of Advanced Education Hon. Marlin Schmidt was on campus at CUE announcing the Government of Alberta’s recent commitment to technology seats at post-secondary institutions through the new Growth and Diversity Act. During his visit he interacted with students and faculty in our MISSM and MISSAM programs.

Alberta Boards and Commissions review of post-secondary president compensation.

As part of the ABC Review the Government of Alberta reviewed public post-secondary presidential salaries and set limits with respect to how much institutions may pay their presidents. The impact of this may go well beyond salary adjustments for presidents, and has raised serious questions from my public counterparts with respect to recruitment, retention, and salaries of all university employees as it may well produce downward pressure on salaries throughout these institutions. My view is that this is the most significant development in post-secondary education for many years and will have far-reaching impacts on public post-secondary education in Alberta.

Academic Plan 2018-2023 update.

Following broad and varied consultation over the past year or more, the Academic Plan is now in final draft form and will be discussed once more by the Deans’ Working Group this Friday, June 8. The executives of both CSA and GSA have already given their approval. Subsequent to the Deans’ final approval, we hope to hold a special meeting of GFC for feedback before the plan is submitted to the appropriate bodies (i.e. ASC and GFC) for discussion and action. Please note that the new Academic Plan is intended to be a high-level guiding document, firmly rooted in both the CUE Master Story and the GFC-approved Institutional Learning Outcomes. Once this AP has been approved, individual units across campus will be expected to develop their own, more local and detailed plans for operationalizing those aspects of the plan that apply in their area.

Smoke-free campus.

It had to happen sooner or later. At the urging of the Canadian Cancer Society CUE is going smoke-free. As a smoke-free environment, Concordia University of Edmonton will be a campus that promotes health and wellness and ensures students, faculty, staff and visitors are not exposed to second-hand smoke. Accordingly, effective September 1, 2018, CUE not permit smoking (including of cannabis), or the use of tobacco products in any University building, on University property, in any university owned vehicle or in any vehicle while on University property. Exemptions are in place for Indigenous sacred medicine ceremonies and are available for physician prescribed medical marijuana use for which there is no alternative to smoking. In going smoke-free we are joining 23 other post-secondary institutions across Canada. Other smoke-free institutions in Edmonton include Norquest, Kings, and NAIT. If they can do it, so can we!

Grant success in IT Services

Recently, IT Services has been informed that the grant proposal they submitted for funds to support the provincially-mandated updates to ApplyAlberta to support the new PASI High School Transcript has been approved in full. The funding amounts to $110,000 which will be used to support development and operation of Concordia’s implementation of this system. Congratulations, Ed and team.

A campus coffee shop and pub?

We are currently examining the viability of creating a venue on campus that could serve alcohol. Not only would this generate revenue, but such an amenity might enhance our university culture and encourage our students to stay on campus more often to socialize with their friends. We believe that with some fairly reasonably priced renovations we could create an enclosed coffee shop/pub in what is currently the Tegler kiosk area, and that such renovations would recoup their cost relatively quickly through increased sales. This coffee shop/pub could be equipped with facilities to serve a wider range of food and fancier coffees, along with alcohol, the service of which we could limit to particular times of the day should we wish, for example, after 4pm. Responsible use of alcohol would be a major focus.

Faculty coffee meetings with the President.

Faculty members – please join me for an informal coffee in the Faculty Lounge at noon on June 21. No agenda, just a chat.

International update.

We welcomed a delegation of 4 scholars and administrators last week from our partner Qilu Normal University. Another delegation of 5 from this university was here when we launched the Centre for Chinese Studies. This is an important partner, well recognized in China for their high quality Education programs.

Our students are engaging more in international experiences. CUE’s 7 students who went to Brazil for a 3-week field trip with 3 different partner universities had an amazing experience including academic, social, cultural engagement. Two CUE “Faculty-Led Study Abroad” programs have been approved. One is in Science and will head to Brazil in 2019, the other in Arts (Spanish), and will head to Spain in 2019.

A new interdisciplinary and international research project is under development between CUE and our partner State University of Alagoas, (UNEAL) North East Brazil on suicide rates among young Indigenous people in Brazil and in Canada. To date, three CUE researchers are involved.

Finally, CUE has signed an MOU with a university in Punjab, India, and an Indian ministerial delegation will visit us in June.


Board Chair Mike Wade and I met with Mr. Peter LeClair, Assistant Deputy Minister of Advanced Education, on June 7 to discuss timelines for discussions with the Government of Alberta over the summer as we both consider whether or not Concordia should ‘go public’, and if so under what circumstances. We took the opportunity at this meeting to discuss the various tiers that have been established for public post-secondary president compensation and Concordia’s place in that.