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President Loreman’s report to GFC, October 12, 2018.

Posted on: Oct 12, 2018

Student Maegan Lilly passes away

Maegan Lilly passed away on Thursday, September 27, 2018, at the age of 22 years. Maegan had been a Concordia student through to the fall of 2017 and was a positive presence on our campus, participating in choir and working to provide supports to others on campus in a number of ways. Maegan’s passing represents a sad and significant loss to our community. We have passed on condolences to her family, the Concordia Choir was involved in her memorial event, and we have made a donation in her name to Kids’ Help Line. http://edmontonjournal.remembering.ca/obituary/maegan-lilly-1070399855

Concordia welcomes new Board Chair Russ Morrow.

Mike Wade’s final duty as Board Chair was to drop the puck at a Concordia v. MacEwan hockey game on September 28, at which he was presented with a team jersey. While Mike will continue to be involved with Concordia, we now welcome Mr. Russ Morrow to the role of Board Chair for a 3-year renewable term. Russ has already started his work as Chair, attending a meeting with the Minister of Advanced Education with me on October 4. I look forward to working with him and am confident that he is the Board Chair Concordia needs at this point in our history.

Concordia’s independent status.

At the direction of our Board of Governors our senior administration and I have been engaging with the Government of Alberta to continue discussions relating to our status as an Independent institution. Specifically, I have been exploring how Concordia’s situation might be improved whilst also maintaining our independence.

Coffee with the President.

I attended the monthly Coffee with the President event for faculty in the Al Huehn Lounge on September 27 and very much enjoyed the conversation with the faculty member who attended. The next event is October 19 at 11am. It would be nice to see faculty there should they be available and so inclined.

Generative GFC meeting.

We are ready to commence the development of a new 5-year Strategic Research Plan to align with our Academic Plan. Before we get started it might be helpful to have a generative GFC meeting to ‘blue sky’ some ideas which can then be further considered and developed.

International update.

We have now an open call for faculty and staff who wish to apply to a competition to visit the University of Porto on the Erasmus+ program. Soon calls from University of Szczecin (Poland) and the University of Basque Country (Spain) will also be open. We are sending 3 students abroad in winter 2019 to the University of Szczecin, Poland, and to Coventry in the UK.

The Chinese Stories Art Exhibition facilitated by our Centre for Chinese Studies in collaboration with our Library is open to public Oct 1-31. Calligraphy and paintings are displayed on the 1st and 2nd floors in the library. A reception/lecture will be hosted at 2 pm on Tuesday Oct 30. The Edmonton Chinese community has donated 900 dollars so far for this event, with more anticipated. The Centre for Chinese Studies is also offering 3 levels of Chinese language classes and a Tai Chi Sword class to faculty, staff, and the public this semester.

The International Office has participated in another successful Airport Welcome Project and City Wide Welcome Project for new international students in September in partnership with our CSA and GSA. These two projects represent a nice collaboration between CUE and other Edmonton PSIs, City of Edmonton and YEG airport.

Ottawa meeting and alumni reception.

On October 22 I am heading to Ottawa for 2 days of University Canada meetings. Whikle I am there I am hosting an alumni reception for those interested in attending. This is something I plan to do frequently when I travel, not only in Canada but also overseas. We have 40+ alumni in Ottawa and I look forward to connecting with as many of them as possible.

Indigenous Knowledge and Research Centre and Centre for Chinese Studies.

Our Indigenous Knowledge and Research Centre is only a baby, but it is a thriving baby! It has become an engaging feature of our Centre for Science, Research and Innovation welcoming a diverse array of students and already hosting a number of meaningful events and providing support to instructors. Thank you to Danielle Powder for her work in the IKRC.

Also, our Centre for Chinese Studies now has a home on the top floor of the CSRI in room CS201. Dr. Xinxin Fang has been making the most of her new space, hosting dynamic Chinese cultural events and activities inside and spilling outside of physical space of the Centre. This is an exciting period in the development of our Centre for Chinese Studies and Centre for Chinese Teacher Development.

China mission.

On October 26 I am heading to China for a lengthy trip during which I will visit most of our university partners and attempt to negotiate partnerships with new university partners in Shanghai and Guangzhou. I will return on November 16. A longer trip is most cost-effective (saving multiple trips to China), and I will be staying in university residences wherever possible to keep costs down. I will also be hosting an alumni reception in Beijing. The mission objectives are as follows:

  • To thank and recognize university partners for their active engagement in our partnerships.
  • Thank Hanban for support of the Centre for Chinese Studies and the Centre for Chinese Teacher Development, and advocate for ongoing support.
  • Explore ways of creating more dynamic partnerships with partner universities.
  • Foster new relationships with Donghua University in Shanghai and Guangzhou University, potentially signing MOUs for cooperation.
  • Connect with CUE Alumni in China as a means to promote their continued engagement with CUE.
  • Promote CUE’s summer programs and the Concordia Concert Choir 2020 trip to China.
  • Follow-up on degree and research collaborations for MISSM, Management, and the CIAR.

I would like to acknowledge Dr. Xinxin Fang’s excellent work in organizing this very complex visit for me.

CUE Commitment.

The CUE Commitment is off to a good start. We have 18 students signed up for it and have started our advisor meetings and the inaugural CUE Commitment lecture has taken place. It is nice to be starting with a small group of students this year, and we look forward to increasing these numbers as word-of-mouth gets around for next year. Thank you to those of you who have volunteered to be advisors this year. I think you will find this to be a rewarding experience, along with your assigned student.

Campus-wide smoking ban and the community

Some members of the local community have written to us expressing their concern about our campus-wide smoking ban. They have anecdotally noticed an increased number of smokers congregating around the stairs to the river valley and other places not on our property. Some have asked us to re-instate smoking areas on campus. We support health and wellness at Concordia and will not be doing this. First, we have the right to decide what happens on our property, just as our community neighbours have a right to decide what happens on their property. Second, we do not accept responsibility for the behaviour of individuals who may or may not be affiliated with our university on property not owned by us. That said, we want to be good neighbours and are actively working with the City of Edmonton to assist them in providing a solution for the neighbourhood that adequately addresses the smoking issues raised by community members. That will not include reversing our campus-wide no smoking policy.