President Loreman’s report to GFCPosted on: Feb 12, 2017
At each monthly meeting of our General Faculties Council Concordia’s president provides a report. The following is an outline of the report for the February 10, 2017 meeting of GFC, provided here in the interests of clear and open communication with the broader Concordia community.
VPA and provost search
The search Executive Committee met with Conroy Ross (search firm) representatives and selected short-list candidates for the position.
Two candidates will be interviewed by the full Search Committee. The interviews will be ½ day each in length, followed by a meal with the president and interim VPA and provost, Dr. Stratton.
Candidates selected to move forward following the interviews will once again be interviewed by the Selection Committee, along with meeting with stakeholder groups (faculty, staff, students) who will provide feedback to the selection committee.
Board Chair Mike Wade and I met with Minister Schmidt at the Legislature on January 31. Present at the meeting also were his EA and Deputy Minister Rod Skura.
The meeting was positive in tone. We discussed the advantages for both Alberta and Concordia in going public, along with some of the issues that would need to be addressed if we moved forward. These included funding, Board appointments, our positioning in the post-secondary system, and considerations with respect to our assets and liabilities.
We agreed that as 2017 progressed we would continue to engage on these issues.
Canada’s preeminent small university
Following our Board Town Hall introducing the concept, I have now started meeting with our students (informally, over coffee), and will be meeting with faculty and staff on this topic.
I will develop a structured plan for discussions and consultations regarding our identity and, following that, our new ‘academic plan’ for becoming Canada’s preeminent small university. This will be done with our new VPA and provost.
Depending on the availability of representatives from Yukon and Aurora Colleges to meet I may be joining Mayor Iveson on a 2-day mission to Yellowknife and Whitehorse on Feb 23 & 24. There are three reasons for my possible attendance:
To help promote the Edmonton Coalition agenda of ‘all things north’.
To connect with Edmonton’s municipal, education, and business leaders.
To investigate opportunities for collaboration with Aurora College (Yellowknife) and Yukon College (Whitehorse).
My application to the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents in July was successful.
Peter MacKinnon and Gerald Krispin continue serving as mentors.
Transition Committee meetings have been concluded.
While as president teaching is not viable, I plan to try and continue my research (albeit on a reduced scale). With that in mind I will be using my faculty PD money to attend a research meeting with collaborators at Monash University’s Prato campus in Italy in March, with the objective of writing 2-3 papers based on survey data we have collected.
We remain on schedule, and on budget.
There has been a slight setback with respect to additional unanticipated work required on the foundations of Guild Hall and cold weather, but we do not expect this to delay the project.
IT Security Workshops
As security becomes an increasingly important feature of post-secondary IT service we need to consider how all members of our campus community can contribute to keeping our systems safe.
IT will be developing workshops for all faculty and staff in the area of security awareness. These workshops will be offered at multiple points throughout the year and will be of high importance.
We now have a balanced budget for 2017-18.
Assumptions are a slight increase in enrollment, a tuition freeze, and a 2% increase in our Campus Alberta Grant. If these variables change, so may our budget.
I understand that different perspectives exist with respect to budgetary allocations. The simple fact is, however, that our resources are finite, many of our costs are fixed, and we cannot and will not run a deficit.
Decisions have been made with respect to what is best for Concordia overall, under the guidance of our Board Finance Committee and our Budget Steering Committee of faculty, admin, and staff.
A reminder to GFC members that we will have a beer, wine, wings, and hockey game event prior to the next board meeting on February 16. Alcohol will be donated by your Board.