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President Loreman’s Report to GFC November 9, 2018

Posted on: Nov 9, 2018

Partnership with Cambellsville University.

During the summer, CUE welcomed a visit from representatives of Campbellsville University, located in Kentucky. CU offers a program not dissimilar to our own MISSM/MISAM, taught in a blended format, which draws hundreds of students annually. Many of their students have expressed great interest in studying here in Canada; CU also has strong recruitment through the Punjab region of India, which also seems a promising source of new international students for MISSM/MISAM. We are now exploring, via a formal MOU and credit transfer agreement, a mutually beneficial partnership. As the next step in this ongoing process, Dr. Colin Neufeldt, Dean of Graduate Studies and AVPA, will be travelling to Kentucky later this month to teach a course in Cyberlaw and discuss ways forward.

Ottawa meeting and alumni reception.

            October 22 I was in Ottawa for 2 days of University Canada meetings. This was beneficial, especially from a networking perspective with other presidents. I inadvertently met up with our MP Kerry Diotte and spent some worthwhile time with him. I also hosted our first Ottawa alumni reception, attended by 6 graduates and one spouse. This is a great starting point, and these graduates from the 1950s to 2016 enjoyed one another’s company.

China mission.

I have been in China since October 27, and at the time of writing have visited a number of our partners and have engaged in some meaningful work that helps to enhance our engagement with this important international partner.

In Beijing I met with senior administration at Beijing Foreign Studies University, where I signed an agreement for a 1+3 program where students take 1 year at BFSU and the final 3 years of their degree at CUE. I presented to a small group of students and faculty on our summer programs and what is involved generally for international students to study at CUE. Discussions with BFSU regarding our 2020 Choir Tour highlighted the need for our choir to perform secular music only in China in order to avoid controversy.

At Capital Normal University I signed a 4+2 agreement, whereby students complete undergraduate studies at CNU for 4 years and then qualify to enter into our MISSM and MISSAM programs for 2 years. I also hosted an alumni reception, attended by over 50 graduates from our summer programs. It was great fun, and excellent public relations for CUE. These former students feel connected to our institution.

I touched base with Jenny Luo from the Alberta Office in Beijing, a relationship and supportive partner that we appreciate.

In Jinan I visited Qilu Normal University where I met with senior administration, and participated in a lunch with CUE alumni from our summer program. I visited the Faculty of Music where I watched a portion of a voice class being taught. QLNU is most interested in a visit from our Choir in 2020 and would like to engage in a joint performance with them, as they also have an excellent Choir specializing in Chinese folk music. I presented to over 200 students on CUE, with particular emphasis on promoting our summer programs. Later, I had dinner with the President and senior administration, where we discussed the possibility of QLNU making use of our visiting scholar program, particularly in Education where they feel their faculty can learn a considerable amount from Canada.

At Southwestern University in Chongqing I met with alumni, presented to students about our summer programs and international study, and discussed potential partnerships for our CIAR. I also promoted our choir tour, which was received favourably.

Our Chinese partners have been extremely gracious and their hospitality is amazing. They know how to take care of a guest. The support of CUE’s Dr. Xinxin Fang in the Centre for Chinese Studies has also been key to the success, so far, of this China mission.

My next stops include Shanghai and Guangzhou where I hope to sign MOUs with 2 new university partners, and finally Hong Kong where I will visit our partner EDUHK and meet with a representative of the Alberta China Office.

Financial update.

Concordia has just finished its second financial quarter for this fiscal year.  We have seen strong revenue growth, the direct result of strong enrolment.  While revenue is higher than was forecasted and is higher than previous years, we have also seen a corresponding increase in Concordia’s costs as we respond to the growth.  Our quarterly deficit is higher than was budgeted for this quarter but 40% of what the deficit was last year at this same time.   Concordia is still budgeting for a small surplus, but cost constraint is always essential and a reality.  We were successful in keeping the CSRI project on budget as the project winds down and we were also successful in securing good financial terms for the CSRI mortgage, aiding our cash flow and our interest expense. Global markets dropped roughly 7% this past month, which will not be captured in our financial reporting until the third quarter or the end of December. We are actively monitoring the negative impact of the market correction on our investment revenue budget and our pension plan assets and will continue to do so in the weeks to come.

International update.

A Faculty-led study abroad group, SPA102, is heading to Universidade Pontifica de Salamanca, Spain, and we are also working on our MOU and exchange agreement with this university. Both of our faculty lead study abroad leaders (Dr. Xin Chen ENSC319, and Katherine Alexander SPA102) applied for CAGFIL grant and we hope for positive results.

We are signing a student exchange agreement with our partner University of Buenos Aires and a new MOU with Ural Federal University in Russia.

There were 6 submissions (3 from staff and 3 from faculty) for Erasmus + in Porto, Portugal. We are waiting for the results.

The International Office welcomed the Attache for Science and Education from the Embassy of France this week, and we will soon have news about new opportunities, with funding, from the French government for our students. Last May Manfred Zeuch, Mike Wade, and I met with the French Ambassador in Ottawa which has opened up these possibilities for us.