Farewell

Dear members of the University community /Boozhoo/Aanii/Kwe kwe,

This is my final blog posting as President and Vice-Chancellor, and my last day in the President’s Office.

Since the announcement in April of my appointment as Chief Executive Officer of Health Sciences North and of the Health Sciences North Research Institute effective October 2nd, it has been an intense sprint to complete as many files as possible.

We finalized a balanced budget for 2017-2018. Convocation season was as wonderful and hectic as ever. We completed consultations for the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan and Draft #1 has been submitted this week by Dr. Linda Ambrose to the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan Steering Committee. The incoming Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Pierre Zundel, and I have taken part in over a dozen meetings with decision-makers at Queen’s Park, major donors and local college presidents. The process to recruit the next Vice-President, Administration is entering in the selection phase following a national search. The Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre officially opened, and the stunning front door was completed. The federal Minister of Science, the Hon. Kirsty Duncan, made a national funding announcement on campus and toured the construction site for the Cliff Fielding Research, Innovation and Engineering Building. The negotiation of the 2017-2020 Strategic Mandate Agreement is nearly done.

During recent media interviews I have had the opportunity to reflect on what we have accomplished together since 2009. This May story of the Sudbury Star captures very well our trajectory. There will also be a Q&A in the September edition of LAMBDA.

There are great things ahead at Laurentian, including the completion in 2018 of the new Cliff Fielding Building, a new SGA Student Centre by 2019, the hiring of new faculty and transfer of exceptional colleagues from Barrie, the validation and launch of the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan and great news ahead for graduate expansion, health learners and staff.

I want to thank all colleagues, students, alumni and friends of the University who came to my farewell BBQ at the end of June.

There are many, many people that I would have liked to thank in person before I leave the presidency today. Unfortunately, it’s physically impossible. It has been a privilege to serve you. Thank you for your energy and inspiration. I look forward to witnessing and contributing to the University’s future successes from the standpoint of 41 Ramsey Lake Road instead of 935 Ramsey Lake Road.

It has been a pleasure and an honour to serve as your president and to work side by side with each and every one of you.

Fondly,

Dominic Giroux

#Imagine2023 : More Consultations and Guest Speakers

Dear members of the University community /Boozhoo/Aanii/Kwe kwe,

I want to thank the 350 students, faculty, staff, Governors, alumni and community members who attended one of eight electronic brainstorming sessions held on March 27-29th to help shape our 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. The energy in the room was incredible and the ideas expressed were inspiring!

The 24-member Strategic Plan Steering Committee held its first meeting on February 27th and heard from Dr. Ted Hewitt, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), who delivered a 14-minute talk on the topic of  “What will university-based research look like in 10 years”? I invite you to watch it.

Students, colleagues and members of the public have already responded with over 500 answers to the three statements on the strategic plan website: 1) I am proud of Laurentian because … 2) Laurentian should consider … 3) Five years from now Laurentian will …  In addition, everyone is invited to email advice to the Steering Committee at strategicplan@laurentian.ca.  All submissions received will be shared with the full Steering Committee.

I want to thank our student associations who are enabling the Steering Committee to seek advice from members of the university community in the “bowling alley.” Check out the chalkboard and give us your input on a new question each week from now until the end of May.

Dr. Linda Ambrose, Special Advisor for Strategic Planning who supports the work of the Steering Committee, already met with the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Architecture Council on March 15th and with the Association of Retired Academics of Laurentian University on March 22nd.

Other consultations by Dr. Ambrose have been scheduled with the:

  • Library and Archives Faculty Council (March 30th);
  • Faculty of Arts Council (March 31st);
  • Institut franco-ontarien (April 5th);
  • Faculty of Management Council (April 5th);
  • Offices Reporting to the VP Research (April 6);
  • Faculty of Graduate Studies Council (April 11th);
  • Faculty and staff of Thorneloe University (April 19th);
  • Centre for Academic Excellence/Registrar’s Office (April 26th);
  • Laurentian University Native Education Council (May 9th);
  • Faculty of Education Council (May 10th); and the
  • Northern Ontario School of Medicine (May 24th).
  • … and arrangements for several others are still in the works!

I engaged with alumni and friends of Laurentian in Ottawa on March 24th, and will do the same in the Cobalt area on April 7th and in Sault Ste Marie on April 13th. Similar sessions are being organized on Manitoulin Island and in Timmins, as well as discussions with students attending local elementary and secondary schools.

I want to remind you that on Monday, April 3rd, Dr. Janet Morrison, Provost and Vice-President, Academic at Sheridan and former Vice-Provost, Students at York University, will stimulate our reflection about student life. She will deliver her presentation at 7 pm in the Governors’ Lounge. Once again, we will take some time that evening to discuss what we hear and think about how it helps to inform our strategic planning process.

On Wednesday, April 19th, Alex Usher, President of Higher Education Strategy Associates, Editor-in-Chief of Global Higher Education Strategy Monitor, and a member of our Strategic Planning Steering Committee, will present a talk on trends in postsecondary education. This will take place at 7 pm in the Executive Learning Centre. Alex’s presentation, and our reflection on it from that evening, will be captured by graphic recording artist Sara Heppner-Waldston. In 2012, Sara worked with the McEwen School of Architecture as they developed their vision. We are pleased to welcome her back to Greater Sudbury to work with us as we #Imagine2023.

I am pleased to confirm that on Wednesday, May 10th, Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, Assistant Professor and Acting Head of the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba, will be our guest speaker on Indigeneity in universities. Details to follow.

If you have any questions or comments about the strategic planning process, please do not hesitate to email strategicplan@laurentian.ca

As always, I welcome comments on the blog or any other matter. You can reach me at dominicgiroux@laurentian.ca, or can join the 12,700 people who follow me on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Merci, Thank you, Miigwech.