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President Loreman’s report to GFC, May 12, 2017

Posted on: May 12, 2017

President’s fundraising breakfast for mental health

Coinciding with Mental Health Week we hosted a continental fundraising breakfast for 80 people in Tegler on May 4. Speakers included myself, Barbara van Ingen, Courtney Hunt (student), Nadine Uwimana (student), and Stewart Maschmeyer. After expenses, the total raised was more than $17,500. This will go towards funding much needed student mental health initiatives on campus.

Universities Canada

In April I attended my first Universities Canada meeting as president. This meeting focused on issues of copyright and how they are impacting Canadian universities, becoming more inclusive, and governance and institutional autonomy. Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan addressed the group, expressing her disappointment at continuing examples of gender inequity at Canadian universities. Following this I spoke with Minister Duncan individually, using this time to express my concern with how recommendation 7.3 of the Naylor Report might impact small universities across Canada if implemented. http://www.sciencereview.ca/eic/site/059.nsf/eng/home

Development and alumni relations

Different universities approach development and alumni relations in different ways. I have decided to take a new approach and move the functions of the development office to other administrative areas. Alumni relations will now be administered from the President’s Office. Donations will still be received through Andrea Danko, although she will now work in a modified role with the Business Office and report to Richard Currie. For the time being, I will be taking a more ‘hands on’ role in fundraising, including in our Capital Campaign, with assistance from external consulting professionals and short-term contractors with specific expertise as required.

All things North

Two key meetings with respect to our relationship with the north were held over the past month. The first was with Dr. Deborah Bartlett who was visiting from Yukon College. Dr. Bartlett spent the morning with us discussing potential opportunities for collaboration. The second meeting was with Dr. Roger Epp from the University of Alberta. Dr. Epp spoke to us about the Edmonton Northern Partnership and invited Concordia to participate with this group. Ongoing discussions on this matter are being held.

Consultations: Who are we and who do we want to be?

I have now completed a series of various types of consultation with groups and individuals representing our students, faculty, and staff on the topic of our identity and where we want to go in the future. I will, of course, continue to engage with our community and various stakeholder groups throughout my presidency, but having completed the consultations outlined as part of the plan for my first 100 days I will soon be providing a document outlining what I have heard on this topic. I will share that on the Concordia ‘home page’ in the near future. It is the first step in our planning for the future.

Learning outcomes

Numerous discussions have been held across campus, and will continue to be held, as we continue to consider a progression from the Concordia Core to a learning outcomes approach that is more defensible and that will also help us to potentially attract greater numbers of students.

Doctor of Optometry

On Easter Monday I convened a meeting with a number of Concordia administrators and representatives from the Alberta College of Optometrists and the Alberta Optometry Association. At this meeting we provided an update on our progress with respect to implementing a Doctor of Optometry program. One key topic was the need for Concordia to conduct a full, independent feasibility study on establishing a School of Optometry before moving further ahead. Financial assistance to pay for this study was requested from both the Association and the College, who will discuss this request with their membership.

Building update

Our new Centre for Science, Research, and Innovation remains on schedule and within tolerance limits for our budget. Some unexpected additional expenses have been incurred in relation to the mains water connection and foundations, but these remain within the boundaries of our budgeted contingency fund.