Dear members of the University community / Boozhoo / Aanii / Kwe kwe,
Hello and happy holidays from New Liskeard, where Barbara, myself, and the kids are in the midst of a great visit with her family, and the kids are busy counting down the sleeps until Santa arrives!
First, congratulations to our students and faculty on the successful completion of the fall term!
Barbara and I have never felt so much in the Christmas spirit as we do this year – our first in Sudbury – thanks to so many great events, such as: the concert of the Destino group organized by the Club Richelieu Les Patriotes; the Christmas concert of Les Troubadours lead by Johanne Rioux;, the public reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol benefitting the Joan Mantle Music Trust in which I took part along with other local personalities; Radio-Canada’s live Christmas show at le Theatre du Nouvel-Ontario;, the LUAPSA Christmas dinner, and the Laurentian Christmas Luncheon, which raised over $3,000 for the United Way. To top it all off, it was an absolute pleasure for us to host more than 200 students, faculty, staff, members of the board of governors, and community members to our home at 179 John Street just over a week ago at our Christmas Open House.
It was an honour for me to take part in a traditional First Nation Welcoming Ceremony on December 2, led by Professor Herb Nabigon from Native Human Services. I also want to commend the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Status of Women for organizing a vigil in commemoration of the tragedy now known as the Montreal Massacre. Twenty years ago, on December 6, 1989, an enraged gunman entered Montreal’s École Polytechnique and killed 14 women. Dr. Linda Ambrose from the history department delivered touching closing remarks. She has graciously given me permission to post her text on my blog. I invite all to read it(attachment is in English).
You may have read lately some reviews on the publication of “Academic Transformation: The Forces Shaping Higher Education in Ontario” by Ian D. Clark, Greg Moran, Michael L. Skolknik, and David Trick. I was asked to comment on its content on TFO’s show “Panorama.” You may access this interview (available in French).
I have also posted on my website the submission to the provincial government (in English) that my colleagues at the Council of Ontario Universities and I have developed, entitled “Reaching Even Higher : The Next Multi-Year Funding Plan for Postsecondary Education.” I thought that this submission, and its three recommendations contained, would be of general interest to all members of the university community.
As you know, our university secretary, Denise Ouellette, will be leaving the university at the end of the month. We will miss her a great deal and wish her the very best. Denise, however, will remain in touch with us, working with Laurentian on a consulting basis on specific projects.
The chair of the Board of Governors and I are pleased to inform you that Sara Kunto, director of academic staff relations, has agreed to serve as acting university secretary and general counsel, effective January 4, until a permanent appointment is made for this position. Lisetta Chalupiak, manager of staff relations in human resources, will temporarily handle specific staff relations matters with LUFA, in consultation with the Provost. Gail Cooper-Benoit from human resources will fill in for some of the work that Lisetta is now doing. I thank them all for stepping up to the plate over the coming weeks. We are very fortunate to be able to count on such dedicated and competent managers and staff.
In closing, I want to wish each and every one of you – students, staff, faculty, and members of the community – a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year! You have made 2009 such a terrific year for myself and my family and have helped create so much excitement and anticipation for 2010.
As usual, I welcome comments and questions on the topics discussed in my blog postings, or any other matter that may be of concern to you. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org