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President Loreman’s report to GFC, May 10, 2019

Posted on: May 10, 2019

Brazil mission:

This was an intense, long, and highly productive trip, with 7 out of 8 objectives being accomplished. There were also a number of accomplishments that fell outside of the formal objectives. Our International Office will follow up on all discussions and decisions.

I started the trip in Belem at the FAUBAI conference, participating in sessions, presenting with partners UniLaSalle, UNISC, and UNIVATES on our international cooperation. I also met with partners from FEEVALE and FEA-RP at this conference, along with representatives from UPorto. I met briefly with Canadian Ambassador to Brazil Ricardo Savone and Canada’s Consul General in São Paulo Stephane Larue. With reference to Canada’s new goal of trying to get Canadian students to study overseas I advocated for an Erasmus style program. I also met with Canadian Trade Commissioners to discuss how they I can support us.

I went next to Rio Grande do Sul and then Ribierao Preto where I thanked and recognized our 6 university partners there for their active engagement in our partnerships. I explored ways of enhancing our relationships and return to Canada with a long and diverse list of opportunities for cooperation in research, teaching, student exchange, and through the CIAR and CAAI.

I held an alumni reception with 8 alumni from 2012-2019 at PUCRS on April 22. It was a terrific event, a lot of fun. Some of the students travelled 2+hrs to be there. On a different day I had lunch with Evaline (and others) who now works in the UNISC international office, a proud CUE alum from 2016. Later in Ribierao Preto I met with 2018 (Fall) alum Caue Costa at FEA-RP. He gave me a gift from the students of FEA-RP and attested to how much he loved and enjoyed his time at CUE.

I presented to 60-70 FEEVALE students on considering an international experience at CUE, along with Canadian Trade Commissioner Paulo Orlandi who highlighted Canadian government support through scholarships and visa regulations and processes.

I floated the idea of the drama department performing in the FEEVALE (2000 seats) and UNIVATES (1100 seats) theatres, and it was suggested they could also participate in the Porto Alegre On Stage festival in 2021. This was well received and we committed to working through the details with Canadian Trade Commissioner Paulo Orlandi taking on an overall Brazil coordination role.

The trip was a resounding success. Not only did I further develop our friendly relationships in Brazil, but I became more aware of the extent to which CUE is valued and appreciated by our partners, just as we value and appreciate them. There are many opportunities for us in Brazil.

Student success in science:

Comfort Sorinolu, a student in our Faculty of Science, won first place for her poster presentation at the Undergraduate Research in Science Conference of Alberta that was held at the University of Calgary on April 26 and 27, 2019. Her research was on the topic of “Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (pahs) concentration in West Slope cutthroat trout (oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) muscle.” Congratulations, Comfort. This is a wonderful achievement.

Exhibition Lands (Northlands) redevelopment:

The preferred working concept (“PWC”) for the redevelopment of the Exhibition Lands was presented to and endorsed by the City’s Urban Planning Council on April 23, 2019. The PWC combines elements from the previous four high level concepts, three of which included land for Concordia on the 220 acre, south-east corner. The exact size of the land allocated to Concordia in the PWC is currently unknown. Based upon the PWC drawings, the allocated land appears to be roughly the equivalent size of the current campus; thus doubling the land Concordia will have for future growth and development. The timing for full development of the 220 acres of land is estimated at 20-30 years utilizing a phased approach. While there has been no discussion of cost, the City intends to use the land sale proceeds to fund the civic portions of the development including among other items: a new LRT station; the relocation of the current Coliseum LRT station slightly north of its current location and the transformation of Wayne Gretsky Drive to an urban boulevard. The next steps include the refinement of the endorsed PWC and development of the business case, all of which will include further stakeholder engagement this spring. The PWC and Concordia’s allocation of lands, was largely well received and supported by the local communities.

Collaboration with FC Edmonton (and potentially FC Gremio):

We are now at the point of signing a formal MOU for a partnership with the FC Edmonton soccer club, who play in the new Canadian Premier League. Our plan is to engage in mutually beneficial sponsorship and advertising opportunities. We will also be hosting joint CUE Thunder and FC Edmonton training and promotional events on campus, and putting in place measures to encourage FC Edmonton players to study with us. CUE students are being offered a significant discount on tickets to FC Edmonton games and will have their own fan section in the stands. Wherever possible we hope that FC Edmonton players will be in attendance at CUE Thunder games, and we will be recognizing them when they are. Further, we are also looking at the feasibility of a tripartite connection between CUE Thunder, FC Edmonton, and nearly-world-champions in 2018 FC Gremio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where we have many partner universities

International update:

Relations with our partner universities are proving fruitful. The Lucerne University of Applied Science (Switzerland) has requested a partnership with CUE through Trade and Investment office of Alberta Government. Our Spanish partner University of the Basque Country made an exception and accepted 4 students from CUE for Fall 2019 as exchange students. For the first time CUE has 2 domestic undergraduate students conducting research abroad with partner universities, one from biology at Univates, Brazil, and another one in genetics at Bielefeld University, OWL group, Germany.

A Designation Agreement between CUE and Advanced Education has been submitted, for us to renew our status as Designated Learning Institution (DLI) for International Education

We are coordinating with the City of Edmonton to shoot a welcome video and to conduct orientation events on campus. In addition work has begun on the Airport Welcome Service for international students. Our info sessions and workshops for international students have been well received, and we are expanding the offer of services. The series will be called “Access Success” (including sessions on the library, counseling, career and writing services, immigration, tax etc.).