Presidential Transition Update #2Posted on: Dec 22, 2016
This week, like so many before it, has been quite a whirlwind. President Krispin’s announcement yesterday that he will conclude his term as president over the Christmas break means that I will be assuming the role a little sooner than first expected, on January 1, 2017. However, a presidential transition does not end with the assumption of the role and I will continue to engage in all planned transition activities in the months to come, perhaps with some modifications.
I met with my transition team on Monday afternoon. It was a most productive and supportive meeting at which we discussed a Board town hall in February, plans for my official presidential installation ceremony, and communications. More detail on each of these three areas will be forthcoming in January when I have more concrete information to share.
Other presidential preparation activities have included some further reading, lunches with small groups of our public Board members in order to help build relationships, attending critical meetings with President Krispin, mentorship from President Krispin and Dr. Peter MacKinnon, and ongoing regular Saturday morning breakfasts with our Board Chair, Mike Wade. I also attended a meeting of all Alberta presidents and the Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and his team on behalf of Dr. Krispin in November. In addition, I am registered to attend the Universities Canada course for new presidents from January 8-10 in Toronto and have applied to a week long course for new university presidents at Harvard in July.
All that being said, I will be president when we return to work in January. What can you expect in the first few weeks? Aside from the important task of making sure Concordia in general runs effectively, my key initial priority is to listen. Sometimes this will be through structured group conversations, and sometimes this will be informal in nature. To this end I will be scheduling informal ‘Coffee with the president’ sessions for students, and more structured discussion opportunities for faculty and staff. Don’t expect me to talk much at these sessions. As I said, my priority is to listen. More information regarding these sessions will be forthcoming early in the new year.
Wishing all of you a peaceful and happy Christmas,