President Loreman’s Report to GFC September 13, 2019Posted on: Sep 13, 2019
Minister Nicolaides visits CUE
To date my interactions with our Minister have been very positive. I was pleased to welcome the Minister for Advanced Education, Hon. Demetrios Nicolaides, for a visit to our campus on September 4. Following a tour of our campus and a meeting with senior leadership, the Minister spent time meeting with students in our Indigenous Knowledge and Research Centre. The visit went very well, and the Minister was open to discussing key issues and concerns regarding the future of Concordia. In particular I highlighted the value that CUE brings to the post-secondary system in Alberta, and I advocated for continued sustainable and predictable government funding along with the need for access to Alberta Capital Finance Authority loans.
Search for new Vice President Finance and Operations:
Having examined our administrative structure I have determined that the most effective way for CUE to move forward is to hire a new Vice President Finance and Operations as opposed to various other possible models. We have contracted search firm Boyden to assist us with the search, which is being conducted nationally and internationally. Interviews have been conducted and we are in the final phases of choosing our preferred candidate.
Strategic Enrolment Management (SEM):
CUE’s enrolment has vastly exceeded our expectations over the past few years, and especially this year where indications are that we are looking at hosting well over 3000 students on our campus. This has produced a number of pressures on our staff, faculty, and facilities. In order to grow in a measured and sustainable manner a Strategic Enrolment Management (SEM) Committee has been established to help us better plan for increased enrolment. The purpose is not to necessarily slow down our growth, but rather to manage it in such a way that we can properly resource our programs and maintain the high level of quality we have developed a reputation for.
President’s Mission to Europe
I am currently visiting Europe, on a trip divided into two distinct phases with different objectives for each phase. For the first week I have accessed my faculty professional development funds to attend a research retreat with the Centre for Inclusive Teacher Education (CITED) in Prato, Italy, that includes key researchers in this area from around the world. This is important in order for me to maintain my credibility as a research scholar, which I believe a faculty member and especially a university president should always be.
The second phase of this trip, for the sake of efficiency since I am in Europe anyway, involves visits to partner universities in Italy, Switzerland, and France. I will be looking to deepen our cooperation in the areas of student exchange, program cooperation, and research collaboration. I will also be hosting an alumni reception in Strasbourg while I am visiting our partner there. Our International Office has been busy assisting in arrangements for this trip and working closely with partner universities to ensure that each visit is fruitful.
Our advocacy in terms of acquiring a portion of the Exhibition lands (Northlands) site continues. Over the past month I have held meetings with community leaders and the VP of EEDC who oversees the Northlands site. All are fully supportive of CUE acquiring the land we desire. In addition, Chancellor Mandel and I have met with the City Manager Linda Cochrane and a representative from the urban planning department to discuss what the process might look like moving forward.
This month we have signed a few new agreements. The first being an Erasmus+ Agreement with Athens University of Economics and Business. Watch for more information regarding upcoming mobility calls. We have also signed a new MOU with Bern University of Applied Sciences. We were previously partnered only with their Business School, but signed an MOU to partner with the entire institution after interest from their School of IT in partnering. We have renewed an agreement with Universite Catholique de l’Ouest, in France for continued collaboration.
Our VP External Affairs and International Relations will be travelling in September and will meet several partners in Europe. These visits are essential for keeping partner connections active and for exploring new areas for cooperation.
We currently have 5 students abroad for the Fall 2019 term and have received 4 applications for Winter 2020. We also have several international students visiting us in the office to access immigration support.
The first cohort of students in Dual Degrees Program in Management received full Chinese Government Scholarships to support their two years of study at BFSU (Beijing Foreign Studies University). The Chief Education Consul and Education Consul from the Chinese Consulate General in Vancouver visited CUE to present the scholarships. Over 100 people attended the Chinese Government Scholarship Award Ceremony on August 6, 2019. The students departed on August 27 and have started their two-year journey at BFSU.
The Centre for Chinese Studies received three groups of students from our Chinese partner universities in the summer—QLNU (Qilu Normal University), EDUHK (The Education University of Hong Kong), and CNU (Capital Normal University). The QLNU and EDUHK students studied at CUE for 4 weeks. The CNU students will study at CUE for 12 weeks and conclude their studies on October 1.
The Concordia Connects Grant for Community and Cultural Engagement has been launched. Two awards are available for students, sessionals, instructors, staff and faculty to apply. Details can be found on OEC website.
A number of non-credit Extension and Culture courses, such as CUE Leadership Development Course, Fundamentals of Cybersecurity Course, music courses, language courses, Tai Chi course, have been approved by the Executive Council of the Office of Extension and Culture. As part of our CUE staff benefits, the OEC encourages all CUE employees to be engaged in these life-long learning opportunities. Registration for the Concordia Symphony Concerto Competition for Youth opened on September 9th. This competition is sponsored by the Alberta Chinese Cultural Society and will offer young Albertan virtuosi the rare opportunity to perform as soloists with a full symphony orchestra. The competition will be held annually as part of the orchestra’s four-concert season. Full details can be viewed at Concordia.ab.ca/concerto-comp.