Laurentian, The University of Choice

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


First, some staffing updates, before commenting on the above-mentioned topic.


The new Vice-President, Academic and Provost, Dr. Robert Kerr, will begin his term tomorrow.  Please note that the Provost’s office is now located in Room L1118 on the 11th floor of the Parker building, in what used to be the office of the University Secretary and General Counsel (USGC).  The office of the Acting USGC, Sara Kunto, remains on the 11th floor in Room L1129.


Dr. John Isbister will serve as Senior Advisor to the Provost for the next three months.  This will allow for a smooth transition in the Provost’s office while avoiding disruption in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities in the middle of the semester.


The new Vice-President, Francophone Affairs, Student Affairs and Recruitment, Dr. Louis Marquis, has postponed the beginning of his term from February 1st to February 9th, to fulfill outstanding obligations with his current employer.  Dr. Serge Demers will continue to serve as Acting Vice-President pending Dr. Marquis’ arrival.


Everyone is invited to an informal gathering to welcome Dr. Kerr and Dr. Marquis to Laurentian, on Wednesday, February 10th from 3 pm to 4:30 pm in the Governors’ Lounge on the 11th floor of the Parker building.


As you know, one of our four key goals is to be the university of choice.


On January 14th, we received national attention in the Globe & Mail for our 14% increase in first choice applications from high school students for next September.  I was also interviewed by the Toronto Star and by TFO’s Panorama on the same matter.  You can actually watch the 6 minute interview in French.


The Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) had released the data on high school applications for 2010-11.  OUAC’s deadline for high school applications (called “101s”) was January 13th.  About 96% of high school applicants usually complete the process before the deadline.


Provincially, first-choice applications are up 2.7% while overall applications are up 2.1%.  For Laurentian, first-choice applications processed through OUAC are up 13.7% while overall applications are up 12.5%.  Over the past six years, our number of first-choice applications by January varied between 1,109 and 1,163, for an average of 1,131.  This year, we have 1,268.


When considering applications processed through OUAC, applications processed exclusively through our Admissions Office and both full-time and part-time applications, first choice applications from “101s” pre-January 16th are up 17% (+190) while overall applications are up 14% (+640). 


·        First choice applications from Sudbury applicants are up 16%, up 21% in Northeastern Ontario outside Sudbury and up 18% from the rest of the province;

·        Overall applications are up 18% for the Sudbury campus and 11% for Barrie and Orillia;

·        Overall applications are up 17% (+329) in limited enrolment programs and up 11% (+311) in open enrolment programs;

·        Overall applications are up 16% in French programs and 13% in English programs.


Of course, much remains to be done.  We still have to increase our undergraduate FTE enrolment in 2010-11, in other words, have these applicants actually register.  Our other goal is to increase enrolment of international (VISA) students by streamlining the admission process and improving recruitment initiatives. 


As educators are passionate about student learning, we also need to continue ensuring measurable improvements to both student engagement and student retention.


I congratulate all faculty and staff who were involved in our numerous recruitment activities this year and, thank in advance all faculty, staff and students who will engage with our applicants in the coming weeks.  Each of us is making a big difference for students.


Preliminary information for the non-high school applicants (105s) was also made available to Ontario Universities.  A very small percentage of 105 applications are made at this time of the year.  The preliminary trend is also encouraging.


Finally, I would like to thank all members of the university community who attended the benefit concert held Friday at the Fraser Auditorium to help raise funds for the people affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti.  What a great concert for a deserving cause!


Congratulations to the Laurentian faculty hockey team coached by Dr. Ann Pegoraro for their 5-2 win over the Laurentian staff team coached by Ron Smith. My son Simon had the privilege of doing the honorary drop of the puck.  The game was held during the 35th SPAD hockey tournament involving 300 players and 24 teams! 


These are two of many examples of what makes Laurentian a great family and university community to belong to.


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:


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