‘We are creating a powerhouse of interdisciplinarity’
Following extensive consultations with its faculty members, staff and students, Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) has developed a plan for the next 10 years.
FAS 2025 is a living document that outlines FAS’ vision, key projects, and priorities.
“FAS is on the move,” says André Roy, dean of the Faculty. “It’s a very exciting time to be here.”
“Our vision is to build a faculty for the future, embracing interdisciplinarity, bold thinking, and academic endeavors which take us beyond our campus walls,” he adds.
“From digital learning to living labs, we are doing things differently. Everyone in FAS is part of this. There is a real energy on the ground here, and it’s a wonderful thing to see.”
We spoke with Roy to learn more about the faculty’s goal to encourage inter-disciplinary collaboration and move beyond the traditional boundaries of academia.
What’s a next-generation faculty?
André Roy: Our faculty is promoting dialogue that spans disciplines and creates bridges between different people and units across our three sectors – the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences.
While we are, of course, rooted in academic disciplines, the Faculty of Arts and Science allows us to foster meaningful interactions across fields.
We are creating a powerhouse of interdisciplinarity. We do this by encouraging connections between people, to create spaces where ideas can be freely exchanged. We cultivate boldness and creativity in the way we approach things, to establish a vibrant intellectual environment where everyone is actively contributing to our shared academic project.
How will the activities in your strategic plan help your faculty get you there?
AR: FAS 2025 contains nine key transformative projects designed to advance our faculty’s vision. We are excited to see them flourish.
The Beyond Project is designed to expand community engagement and increase interdisciplinary dialogue. Among other things, that means going beyond the walls of the university to increase our presence in the community, here and abroad.
The success of the Beyond Disciplines public events series speaks for itself, in bringing together voices from throughout the faculty and beyond, to explore topics as diverse as storytelling in research or gene editing.
Another transformative action we’ve undertaken is the LabLife Project, designed to promote our rich laboratory culture in all the sectors. One great example of this was the Open Living Labs event we hosted in August, with the European Open Living Labs Network (ENoLL).
The first of its kind to be hosted in North America, this interactive, open-concept event featured academics, professionals, students, and community members, all exploring the theme of citizen-driven innovation in a living-lab context. It was a big success and we plan to host more events of this nature.
Can you share three other key initiatives that are planned for 2016-17?
AR: We are launching the Pluri-Studies Institute, a think tank to promote pilot projects and test new and innovative approaches to research and teaching. The institute will create connections across our units, and provide a space to convene faculty and students from around the world to be part of the discussion.
We are also looking to expand our outreach in the Francophonie. This means connecting with the Montreal Francophone community, as well as targeting French partnerships in Quebec, and internationally. As part of these efforts, we recently sent a very successful delegation to France. We are very excited about the partnerships we are forming as part of La Francophonie Project, and look forward to deepening these ties moving ahead.
Finally, as an ambitious faculty that spans three sectors, we like to challenge ourselves. So, since we already had one successful international graduate summer school in 2016, we will be holding more in 2017. Based on the enthusiasm with which last year’s pilot project was met, I’m confident this year’s schools will exceed expectations, and bring tremendous learning and research opportunities to our students and faculty.
FAS 2025 is a map that is guiding our faculty to the next level as we move ahead. Every day, I am impressed by the brilliance and enthusiasm of our people who make up our faculty. As great as FAS is right now, together, we are going to build something even better over the years to come.
Find out more about Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science.
Share your own ideas or projects on the FAS 2025 site.