President Loreman’s report to GFC, November 12, 2021.Posted on: Nov 12, 2021
Vice-President Academic and Provost.
Earlier this week we concluded our search for a new VPA and Provost who will transition into the role in time for mid-May 2022. Dr. Barbara van Ingen was the successful candidate. Congratulations, Barb! I am certain that she will continue to serve CUE well in her new role, even as we continue to benefit from the strong work of Dr. Valerie Henitiuk, who is by no means finished just yet.
We. Are. Back.
Our main deadlines for the implementation of our COVID-19 Vaccination Policy are now behind us, and these past few months have been a long and brutal trip. However, we can be confident that those who we work and study with each day on campus are fully vaccinated, meaning that the two-week waiting period after the administration of the last required dose of COVID-19 vaccine has fully elapsed. Moving forward, all new students will need to provide proof of vaccination to be admitted to our university, and it will remain a condition of employment. Of course, getting to this point has caused significant disruption and has placed significant demands on our administrative team, especially our Registrar’s Office, who deserve our thanks. Also, our IT department have done an exceptional job of setting us up so that entry to campus has been swift and efficient. Finally, our Security team have been the tip of the spear when it comes to working with sometimes frustrated and angry people. We owe all these people our gratitude.
Athletics and performance.
Our student athletes and performers in the fine arts have been very frustrated as I have enforced the law with respect to participation in these activities during our current period of enhanced restrictions. The good news is that we have recently received permission from the Government of Alberta to re-engage in athletics training and games, and our fine arts performances are now permitted to go ahead with an audience. Our Athletics Department is working on getting spectators back at our athletics games (we have an alternative with live streamed games on ACACTV), however, attending Nationals is not an option for our student athletes. Despite that, I am hoping that we can have a rewarding season of athletics and performances at CUE. I thank all of our students, faculty, coaches, and administrators for their understanding and patience as we worked through the process of returning to sport and performance.
New City of Edmonton Council.
Our new City Council has been elected, and most relevant to CUE are the election of Amarjeet Sohi as Mayor and Ashley Salvador as our City Councillor for Ward Metis. I have had positive prior interactions with both of our newly elected officials, and their election bodes well in terms of advancing the mutual interests of CUE and the City of Edmonton. I have congratulated all of our elected Councillors, and am working on individual meetings with each of them as soon as scheduling permits.
New post-secondary legislation.
Two weeks ago the Alberta Legislature passed new legislation that, as far as I am able to discern at this stage, has positive impacts for CUE. Bill 74 – the Advanced Education Statutes Amendment Act included amendments to the Post-Secondary Learning Act (PSLA). This involved language related to sectors that was removed and replaced by a description of types of institutions. Until now there have been six sectors, and CUE has been in the Independent Academic Institutions sector. Moving forward, we were told that there will be no sectors and the independent institutions are written into the legislation with the public institutions. This does not, however, mean we are public. It appears to me that this is positive for us. Up to now it has been relatively easy for a Minister to remove us from the system with the stroke of a pen. Now that we are deeper into the legislation, I am told that it would take an Act of the Legislature to remove us. There are two categories of institution – colleges and universities. It is probably that we will be in the university category, while retaining our independent status.