Justin Trudeau visits Laurentian

Students invited to meet Justin Trudeau / Justin Trudeau visitera la Laurentienne le 1er septembre


Chers membres de la communauté universitaire/Dear members of the University community/Boozhoo/Aanii/Kwe kwe,


A non-partisan town-hall meeting of Laurentian students will be held on Tuesday, September 1, at 7 p.m. in the Governors’ Lounge (11th Floor, Parker Building) with Justin Trudeau, Member of Parliament for Papineau, as special guest.


This town-hall meeting will be a two-way conversation. On one hand, students will be able to hear Mr. Trudeau’s views on youth service. On the other hand, Trudeau will be seeking students’ input on how young Canadians can become more engaged in the political process, irrespective of their political affiliations. 


Food and beverages will be served.  


Interested students should confirm their attendance at president@laurentian.ca as soon as possible. Space is limited.


Promoting youth service is part of Laurentian University’s mandate. In the past year, Laurentian awarded a $1,000 leadership scholarship to 161 first-year students. It is one of few universities – if not the only one – to offer a merit-based scholarship in recognition for significant contributions a student made to the school and the community.


About Justin Trudeau:


Justin Trudeau is passionate about engaging young Canadians in politics. Capturing the attention of students from elementary school through to university, he champions liberal values, defending the causes that are dear to his heart, such as the environment and youth empowerment. During the summer of 2006, he chaired the youth taskforce of the Liberal Party Renewal Commission, generating ideas about how to engage more youth politically. 


Au fil des ans, il a également œuvré auprès de multiples groupes environnementaux voués à la protection du patrimoine naturel canadien tels que Conservation de la nature Canada ainsi que la Société pour la nature et les parcs du Canada. Son activisme l’a incité à poursuivre des études supérieures en géographie environnementale à l’Université McGill. De 2002 à 2006, il a été président de Katimavik, un programme national de service volontaire offert aux jeunes Canadiens et Canadiennes, et il s’est employé à aider ces derniers à bâtir un Canada meilleur, une collectivité à la fois.
Peu après avoir achevé un baccalauréat ès arts en littérature à l’Université McGill, M. Trudeau a déménagé à Vancouver où il a obtenu un baccalauréat en éducation à l’Université de Colombie-Britannique. Il y est demeuré cinq ans, enseignant le français et diverses matières dans plusieurs écoles et conseils scolaires, un emploi qui lui a permis d’acquérir une expérience directe en matière de promotion du bilinguisme au Canada.



La semaine dernière était fort occupée sur le campus, et les jours à venir seront aussi, au moment où nous nous préparons à accueillir des milliers de nouveaux étudiants.  De plus, le ministre fédéral, Tony Clement était de passage lundi pour faire l’annonce d’un investissement de 4,2 millions de dollars au Centre pour l’excellence en innovation minière (CEIM).  Le maire John Rodriguez et moi avons eu la chance de remercier le ministre pour cet appui du gouvernement fédéral.  


In a private meeting with Minister Clement and his officials, I joined other community leaders from Greater Sudbury in articulating emerging opportunities to promote economic growth in our region. My remarks focused on the merit of following the roadmap put forward in June by the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation (GSDC), of which I am a member. In its Economic Development Strategic Plan for Greater Sudbury 2020 (see http://laurentian.ca/Laurentian/Home/President+Office/Economic+Plan+Sudbury.htm?Laurentian_Lang=en-CA the GSDC highlights – for the first time – advanced education, research, and innovation as one of five “engines” for growth in Greater Sudbury. Many community leaders spoke favorably about the need for a Laurentian School of Architecture in downtown Sudbury. The President and CEO of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, Debbi Nicholson, spoke about this project as being the #1 priority for the Chamber. 


I have also emphasized the need to ensure fairness between northern institutions in terms of new infrastructure investments by both the federal and provincial governments, as well as the importance for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to find a “made in Ontario solution” to ongoing financial matters causing a disadvantage to some Aboriginal learners.


The Federal NDP Leader, Jack Layton, was also on campus last week, along with colleagues, including MP Glenn Thibeault.  


I look forward to thanking our students for choosing Laurentian to pursue their university studies. I am having breakfast this Friday with some of our students living in residence, and welcoming students more formally on September 8 at the Barrie campus in the morning and on the Sudbury campus in the afternoon. Our collective commitment as faculty, staff, and administrators is to ensure the success of each and every student. We want our students to be successful in completing their programs. We want our graduates to say that their entire educational experience at Laurentian was excellent; that if they could start over they would choose Laurentian; and that they would recommend us without hesitation for the quality of our teaching. This is our collective endeavour as a university community. 

As usual, I welcome comments and questions on the topics related above, or any other matter that may be of concern to you. My email is: dominicgiroux@laurentian.ca

Merci/Thank you/Miigwech


New Chief of Staff and Director of Institutional Planning

Chers collègues/Dear colleagues/Boozhoo/Aanii/Kwe kwe,


I am pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Mercer as Chief of Staff and Director of Institutional Planning, effective August 31st. In this new role, Mr. Mercer will oversee staff working in the President’s office, institutional planning (formerly institutional research) and communications and marketing (formerly public affairs). Progressively, staff of these units will be grouped physically together.
Mr. Mercer was the unanimous choice of the selection committee composed of : Mrs Denise Ouellette, University Secretary; Dr Ann Pegoraro, Director and Associate Professor, School of Sports Administration and Director, Institute for Sport Marketing; and Dr Patrice Sawyer, Acting Vice-President of Research and Graduate Studies; and myself.


The committee was pleased to receive so many high quality external and internal applications. Staff in the President’s office, institutional research and public affairs, as well as members of the Executive Team, were asked to rank the top 10 desired leadership and management attributes for the successful candidate. The results informed the committee’s decision.
Mr. Mercer is currently a Finance and Human Resources Manager with the Ontario Ministry of Education and Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.  His $250 million and 200 employee portfolio includes French-language and Aboriginal learning. He has an intimate knowledge of government priorities, mandate and funding programs for post-secondary education.

Fully bilingual, Mr Mercer holds a Honours B.A. in Economics, with a minor in Political Science, from the University of Western Ontario.
I know you will join me in welcoming him to the Laurentian University community.



During the selection process, he articulated many ways to enhance our marketing efforts in support of student recruitment.  Several of you have conveyed to me similar ideas in the past few months as we position ourselves to achieve greater national recognition and to increasingly be the university of choice while strengthening our regional, bilingual and tricultural mandate.  I know that Mr. Mercer will want to explore further these specific suggestions very early in his new role, with the support of his team as well as of colleagues from other departments within the University.  I encourage you to email him right away at cmercer@laurentian.ca if you would like to share with him specific ideas.  Your thoughts will undoubtedly inform his entry plan.

I also want to thank Shauna Lehtimaki who served very effectively as Acting Director of Institutional Research since July 1st. She will continue in this assignment until the end of the month.


I am pleased to see that a new three year agreement was reached last week between the University and the Laurentian University Staff Union (LUSU), with an approval rate of 82% among the membership.  The two negotiation teams deserve to be commended for reaching a tentative agreement that both could recommend for ratification purposes.  I remain committed to nurturing a productive working relationship with the LUSU executive and promoting proactive and open communications with all staff. 


J’en profite également pour souligner le dévouement de deux étudiantes, Julie Houle et Yunni Jeong, qui oeuvrent de près avec le Bureau des anciens, de Charles Fink des Affaires étudiantes et de Joe McGibbon des résidences, qui m’ont accompagné à la soirée « Partir du bon pied » tenue jeudi soir dernier au Centre communautaire Glebe d’Ottawa. Nos nouveaux étudiants, leurs parents et nos anciens ont été de la partie. Ce fut un franc succès. Je me réjouis de voir que parmi nos étudiants nouvellement admis au premier cycle pour septembre, 86 proviennent de la ville d’Ottawa, une hausse de 34 étudiants ou 65% en un an seulement. 


Si vous avez lu mon discours inaugural du mois de juin, vous vous rappellerez que j’y avais cité Yunni, que j’ai rencontrée pour la première fois en avril à une réunion du conseil d’administration de l’Association des anciens de l’Université Laurentienne. Étudiante de Sudbury, sa sœur aînée qui avait débuté ses études de premier cycle dans une université de plus grande taille – où plusieurs cours de première année ont plus de 1 200 étudiants – l’avait fortement encouragée à s’inscrire à la Laurentienne de manière à pouvoir pleinement profiter de la vie universitaire et de relations étroites avec le corps professoral (La taille moyenne de nos classes de première année est d’environ 33 étudiants.). Yunni avait déclaré en avril que « la Laurentienne n’est pas une institution, c’est une communauté ». On s’étaient tous regardés dans la salle, avec la même réaction : voilà un bon slogan! J’ai donc cité Yunni à maintes reprises depuis avril, mettant en valeur le fait que la Laurentienne dispose de la taille des classes la plus petite de toutes les universités ontariennes. Mais jeudi soir à Ottawa, c’était la première fois que Yunni se trouvait dans la salle au moment où je la citais!


Yunni a raison. Nous formons une communauté. C’est d’ailleurs vraiment agréable de pouvoir ressentir l’effervescence sur le campus de Sudbury, à l’aube de la rentrée. Je suis persuadé que c’est la même chose à Barrie.


Cinquante-sept autres nouveaux étudiants nous proviendront de l’Est ontarien, de municipalités autres qu’Ottawa. La même activité aura lieu ce mercredi soir sur le campus de Sudbury, pour nos nouveaux étudiants de la région. Je serai de retour à Ottawa le 27 août puisque la présidente de La Cité collégiale, Andrée Lortie, et moi signerons une importante entente d’articulation entre nos deux institutions.


On Thursday, I will be making a presentation to the Council of Ontario Universities’ Reference Group on Aboriginal Education on “The Importance of Ensuring that Aboriginal Students and Culture are Reflected within our Universities in Ontario”.  My Power Point presentation will be posted on my website after the session.


I was delighted to meet with the team from Computer Services last week, and earlier today with staff from Athletics, Active Living and the Media Centre.  In the next two weeks, I will have the opportunity to meet with staff and faculty from Research and Graduate Studies, the University Secretariat, Human Rights, Translation, Human Resources, Services, Physical Plant, Security, Library, Student Affairs and Consortium national de formation en santé.  These conversations are important to me.  They allow me to learn first-hand the success stories, challenges and opportunities facing each department.


I am wrapping up my tour of academic and non-academic departments and university associations.  For those departments and associations that I haven’t yet had the opportunity to meet, I look forward to doing so in the near future.  As required, please contact my assistant, Diane Massicotte, at dmassicotte@laurentian.ca to finalize arrangements.

I am always happy to receive follow up emails, for example from staff and faculty who haven’t had a chance to express themselves in these meetings but still want to convey to me their aspirations for the future of their department or the university, or ask me any question.  Any effective organization is built on such genuine, two-way conversations.  They also allow me to reinforce the four key goals that I want us to focus on in the years to come : national recognition; being a university of choice while strengthening our regional, bilingual and tricultural mandate; student engagement; and community responsiveness.


As usual, I welcome comments and questions on the topics related above, or any other matter that may be of concern to you. My email is: dominicgiroux@laurentian.ca


Merci/Thank you/Miigwech