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President Loreman’s report to GFC, May 11, 2018

Posted on: May 11, 2018

Metis Education Foundation endowment:

As previously noted, our VP Student Life and Learning, Dr. Barb van Ingen and I met with representatives from the Metis Nation of Alberta. This week Dr. van Ingen informed me that the board of the Metis Education Foundation (MEF) approved our request for an endowment. They have decided to approve us for a $250, 000 endowment, with a 10-year term during which we are to match that amount. They have also suggested that if we decide to double that amount in future years such an application would be considered. The interest earned from the endowment will provide Metis students at Concordia with support through newly established Metis Scholar Awards. In addition, the MEF will be coming to Concordia when our Indigenous Knowledge and Research Centre opens to officially announce the endowment. This is great news for CUE and our relationship with this Indigenous community.

Congratulations Joel Mrak:

Our Athletic Director, Joel Mrak, has been named the ACAC Athletics Director of the Year. This follows a banner year for our Athletics program where 11 of our 12 teams made playoffs and we hosted the CCAA National Badminton Championships, winning two gold medals at that event. Our men’s curlers also made the national championships. Thank you for your outstanding leadership, Joel.

Campus speaker policy:

We have introduced a new Campus Speaker Policy. Through this policy CUE seeks to foster a culture that safeguards academic freedom and the expression of diverse points of view, while at the same time promoting an inclusive and respectful environment. As part of this, CUE is committed to hosting visiting speakers to share their thoughts, insights, and experiences in order to assist with our research and learning goals, and our role as an institution that engages in informed and civil public discourse.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure appropriate management of events that are held under the auspices of CUE but that do not form part of the Concordia’s regular academic business. Moreover, this policy will enable CUE to fulfill its legal obligations with regard to speakers and events, while maintaining at all times its commitment to academic freedom and the expression of informed diverse points of view.

Mission to Ottawa

I returned yesterday from three days of important meetings in Ottawa with Board Chair Mike Wade and our VP of International Relations and External Affairs, Dr. Manfred Zeuch. We engaged in numerous successful meetings not only with Canadian politicians and bureaucrats, but also with the Embassies of France, Brazil, and China. This included a lunch reception in Centre Block prior to question period. Discussions with politicians were designed to enhance national awareness of CUE and the work we are doing, along with advancing our interests with respect to research support for small universities. With the ambassadors we discussed our collaboration history and status, and the outlook for moving forward. Discussions were around academic, cultural, scientific and industry cooperation. Important follow up conversations have already started.

Faculty coffee meetings with the President:

I will be organizing a monthly event for faculty members to join me for informal coffee gatherings in the Faculty Lounge as a means to further open lines of communication. My office and I are looking to initiate this event in June, and then re-starting again in September.

 International update:

CUE has now signed a cooperation and exchange MOU with Avans University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands, who visited CUE in March. Cooperation is for exchange of students, faculty, and staff, and in research and program cooperation in business and sustainable business, as well as public health.

Dr. Xinxin Fang is off to visit our partner the University of Iceland and our Polish partner in Szczecin, financed by Erasmus+ funds. She will participate in both international week meetings, representing Concordia. Dr. Shaun Aguili is off to Europe on a MISSM mission, visiting partner universities in Mittweida, Saxony, Darsmtadt, Hessen, and Bretagne-Sud, France. The mission seeks academic and research cooperation in ISS. Seven CUE students have arrived in South Brazil where they are participating in a special program offered by three partners, one week in each university: Unisc, in Santa Cruz, Univates in Lajeado, and Unilasalle in Canoas, by Porto Alegre.

Two Faculty-Led study abroad (FLSA) projects at CUE have been approved: Dr. Xin Chen will lead a group of students to South Brazil in May of 2019 to PUCRS and the Federal University of Rio Grande for environmental and marine biology work. Sessional instructor Katie Alexander is taking a group of students in the spring of 2019 to Spain (Madrid or Malaga) for an immersion Spanish class. FLSA is encouraged for all faculty and the IO (international office) is here to help.

CSRI fundraising and building updates:

Building updates:

The new Centre for Science, Research and Innovation is on track for substantial completion on May 31st, 2018. Although the schedule is tight, the contractors are committing to that date. However, worst case scenario is that the finish date gets postponed for another month, until June 30th, 2018. In either case we are expecting the building to be complete for opening and use in September. The building is expected to be finished on budget. Currently, IT are in the process of installation of equipment for the labs and security systems and are working alongside the contractors.

CSRI Fundraising updates:

Fundraising for the CSRI building has been going very well. Up to date we have raised a total of $687,795.00. This includes: Lead & Major gifts, Grants & Foundations, Pledges, Donations, Estates & Special Gifts as well as President’s Fund Transfer and finally the Chancellor’s Fund transfer. We are still awaiting responses to some major requests.

Learning outcomes and curriculum alignment:

CUE has adopted a learning outcomes approach at all levels (institution, faculties, departments, programs). Having now established these outcomes, the next phase of this work is to align our curriculum with them. Our first task, to be completed within the next 12 months, is to ensure that program curriculum adequately addresses all institutional learning outcomes. I have asked that our Deans provide our VPA and Provost with details and documentation of how this is being accomplished. Following this we will ensure that faculty and department outcomes are addressed.