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.

‘Tis the Time for Giving

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

December is around the corner and for many of us it is time to think about holiday parties, shopping lists and winter vacations. It is also a time to reflect on the blessings we have received throughout the year and make contributions back to our communities.

Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving which follows the well-known shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and marks the beginning of the charitable season.  It is a movement that encourages us all to make donations, volunteer our time, and raise our voices for those who may not be able to speak for themselves.

Last year, the Laurentian University community came together on Giving Tuesday to help raise over $48,000 in support of students and research.  But more importantly, it was a day when I saw the Laurentian family—students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors—join forces to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Today, we can pull together once more to raise money for much needed causes on campus including student financial aid, the student foodbank, and student-led initiatives such as Model Parliament or a humanitarian trip to Mongolia by students from the School of Human Kinetics .  Learn more about how you can make a donation to an area you are interested here: https://laurentian.ca/give/

If you are an alumnus or alumna it is also a great day to sign up for a newly-launched initiative – One Million Hours of Volunteerism. The Laurentian University Alumni Association is challenging alumni to log volunteer hours at https://laurentian.ca/onemillion and illustrate the impact that Laurentian alumni have on their communities across the country.

Every good deed or helping hand has an impact. So today, on Giving Tuesday, I encourage you to think about how you would like to make your impact.

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.