Board approves strategic directions for Concordia
On June 11, at its final meeting of the 2014-15 academic year, Concordia’s Board of Governors approved nine strategic directions for the university, developed through a consultative process involving students, faculty and staff.
The strategic directions initiative, which completed its first phase, provided opportunities for members of the Concordia community to think and talk about what the university needs to do in order to thrive in the decade ahead.
Phase one activities included the speaker series, The Future of the University and the Future of Learning, which welcomed thought leaders from across North America; consultations with students, faculty and staff through Idea Cafés and other activities; and work by seven subject-specific groups.
In response to a first draft strategic directions document, the Strategic Directions Advisory Committee received over 100 pages of comments and suggestions, and senators provided additional input at the April 17 Senate meeting.
The document was revised substantially based on the feedback from the community, and Senate approved a revised document on May 15. This revised document was also approved by the Board.
The nine directions are: Double our research; Teach for tomorrow; Get your hands dirty; Mix it up; Experiment boldly; Grow smartly; Embrace the city, embrace the world; Go beyond; and Take pride.
Phase two begins this fall when units will undertake more detailed action planning at the Faculty and unit levels, which will include setting objectives aligned with the nine strategic directions.
In his final report to the Board for the 2014-15 academic year, President Alan Shepard expressed his pride in the success of the June convocation cycle that saw 5,300 students participate in ceremonies marked by a huge team effort involving every single sector. With the fall convocation ceremonies, this brings the total number of graduates to nearly 7,000.
Shepard said he was pleased to see that the strong entrepreneurial work, which has been prioritized at Concordia, is gaining attention. District 3, the university’s start-up incubator, held its Demo Day at Sid Lee’s Montreal offices on June 4. The event received positive coverage in both Les Affaires and the Huffington Post. Since its launch in 2012, District 3 has created more than 100 jobs and $30 million in value.
Finally, the Department of Recreation and Athletics is once again holding its summer day camp program in July. Week-long flag football, soccer, hockey or multisport sessions will run at the Loyola Campus from July 6 through August 21. Find out more here.
New tuition fees for international students approved
Following the full Government of Quebec deregulation of tuition fees for international students in certain programs in 2014-15, the Board approved a new fee structure in April 2014 for these international students.
Under this new structure, undergraduate students in the John Molson School of Business (JMSB) and Engineering and Computer Science (ENCS) Cycle I programs are charged a single per-credit rate. While the university retains these fees, it does not receive government teaching grants for these students.
At its June 11 meeting, the Board passed a motion to increase the per-credit rate for these programs by the same percentage, as set by the Ministère de l’éducation, de l’enseignment supérieur et de la recherché (MEESR) for regulated programs. This means ENCS Cycle I undergraduate students will now pay a fixed per-credit rate of $646.51 and JMSB Cycle I undergraduate students will pay $707.08 per credit.
The Board also approved an increase in the premium for per-credit fees for JMSB Cycle II graduate students, the only one of four fee components not regulated by the government. The increase is equal to that set by the MEESR for regulated programs.
Honorary degree guidelines amended
Honorary degrees are normally conferred during the regular convocation ceremonies in the spring and fall. In some cases, the honorand is unable to attend the ceremony. The Board approved the motion that will allow the university to award an honorary doctorate to a deserving individual at other times throughout the year, not only during convocation.
New Board appointments
Starting July 1, Concordia will have three new governors: Professor Haidee Wasson, representing the Faculty of Fine Arts, will spend a one-year term replacing Daniel Cross during his sabbatical leave; Terry Wilkings, president of the Concordia Student Union, will represent undergraduate students for one year; and Helen Antoniou, certified executive coach and strategy consultant, will represent the external community for a three-year term.