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

A Brighter Future for Ontarians

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

Laurentian wants to continue its success by anticipating the needs of future students and delivering the best higher-education experience possible.

How do we do this? By hearing from you. Tell us what you think about university education and how it can help you.  We’re not the only ones listening.

The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) is conducting a wide-ranging survey, asking how we can do better.  How do universities respond to the changing needs of today’s students? What must universities do to make sure our graduates are successful and make meaningful contributions to society?  What should the future of university education look like? What are you excited about? What concerns you about the future?

The world is changing so quickly and in ways we couldn’t have imagined possible. It’s important to reflect on what we can all do together to help shape tomorrow, and to make sure no one is left behind. It will help universities be great partners in ensuring the future is brighter for everyone.

What COU has heard so far is people are most worried about the environment and Indigenous populations.  They are most hopeful about the future technology affords and the creative arts and cultural scene.  In general people are feeling positive about the future.

What’s most important though is how YOU feel.

We will all benefit from the details you are sharing so I hope you take a few minutes out of your day to fill out this survey to ensure that we, and all Ontario universities, are charting the right course for you.

Here is the website www.ontariosuniversities.ca and a link to the survey https://cou.typeform.com/to/IKrMiz.

The insights we uncover will be distilled and reported back to the public through a series of online postings, blogs and reports, culminating in a summit next year on Ontario’s future and how universities can help Ontarians succeed.

This provincial dialogue will also inform our own strategic planning at Laurentian. I want to thank the more than 125 people who in October, completed an electronic survey about the development and the implementation of our 2012-2017 Strategic Plan, and what we should look for with regards to the process and content of our next strategic plan. We also consulted members of Senate, the Board of Governors and the Leadership Group.

Next week, the Board of Governors and Senate are expected to approve the process leading to our next strategic plan. We appointed Dr. Linda Ambrose as Special Advisor to lead that important process. Stay tuned for opportunities this spring to have your say about Laurentian’s future directions. In the meantime, I hope you will share your thoughts about your future and Ontario’s future.

Finally, my wife Barbara and I invite everyone to our annual festive gathering at 179 John Street on Sunday, December 11th from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. It’s always a great opportunity for students and colleagues to mingle in a relaxed atmosphere with Governors, alumni and community members. A babysitting service will be available, as well as a shuttle service from the York Street city parking lot. Please RSVP at your convenience by calling (705) 673-6577 or by email lul-rsvp@laurentian.ca. Kindly advise if you have special requirements. Please bring indoor footwear. Look forward to seeing you there!

As always, I welcome comments on the blog or any other matter: you can reach me at dominicgiroux@laurentian.ca, or can join the 12,000 people who follow me on FacebookTwitter or Linkedin.

Merci, Thank you, Miigwech.