October 14, 2008
Shaped by its history and environment, conscious of the need to preserve its most important values while adapting its vision and mission to rapidly evolving conditions, Concordia University aspires to be widely recognized as one of Canada’s best comprehensive universities1 in the decade to come, with the overall goal of being a first choice for students and faculty locally, across Canada, and internationally. To achieve this overarching objective, we have identified three principal strategic directions, supported and enabled by a further group of administrative and communicative strategies. Concordia will devote its energies to becoming and to becoming known as a university characterized by high academic quality, outstanding student experience and student engagement, and superlative community engagement and social responsibility. In the service of these goals, we will develop and implement a culture of superb management and innovative communications.
In 1968, in the wake of the Parent Commission Report, the Quebec government asked two separate institutions, Loyola College and Sir George Williams University, to consider joining forces, and Concordia University came into legal existence on August 24, 1974. Loyola College, which originated from the English-language program of Collège Sainte-Marie, a French-language Jesuit school founded in 1848, had granted degrees through the Université de Montréal. Sir George Williams University dates back to evening classes first offered by the Montreal YMCA in 1873. It began granting degrees in 1936.
Today, over 40,000 students are enrolled in credit and non-credit courses at Concordia University in a full range of certificates and diplomas, as well as undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate degrees. We employ over 2,000 full-time and part-time faculty members. From its roots as a teaching institution, Concordia has evolved into a university that fosters both teaching and research, with a growing research profile. In 2007–2008, the value of grant and contract revenues received by Concordia researchers approached $31.5 million; the University is also home to 68 research chairs.
Today’s Concordia is a highly diverse community. In 2007–2008, more than one-fourth of our students were born outside of Canada. More than 4000 students, or 11% of the total student body, were overseas students originating from over 150 countries. We have established formal academic linkages with 96 institutions in 33 countries on five continents.
Quebec government funding accounts for the majority of Concordia’s operating budget, and the current political climate suggests that the proportion of government funding is not likely to increase significantly. While we will continue to make the case for increased government funding, we must nonetheless be realistic. As in other jurisdictions, when additional funding for universities is made available, increases are often tied to areas closely linked to government priorities, which thus far have not favoured comprehensive universities like Concordia. Our situation is complicated by the introduction of a new government oversight and regulatory framework that could well require universities to adhere to the same rules and regulations governing provincial crown corporations. While joining our sister institutions in vigorously defending the autonomy traditionally enjoyed by universities, it seems certain that we will need to be increasingly attentive to government priorities and orientations during the period addressed by this document.
Concordia’s challenges for the next decade will thus mirror those of all Quebec universities – growing demands from government, the private sector and individuals for the education, research and community service that universities provide. These expectations will need to be met within increasing financial pressures resulting not only from declining resources but also from global competition for faculty.
We will need to respond to a rapidly evolving student population with continuously changing and increasingly diverse needs, abilities, skills, attributes and aspirations. In addition, we will face the challenge of expanding, renewing and maintaining campus infrastructure to satisfy the needs of a growing student body and professoriate.
Concordia’s vision is to be one of Canada’s best comprehensive universities in the decade to come, a first choice for students and faculty locally, across Canada, and internationally.
The description of Concordia’s mission has not changed for many years. The following proposed text is offered here for comment:
Concordia University is welcoming, engaged, and committed to innovation and excellence in education, research, creativity and community partnerships. It dares to be different and draws from the richness of its diversity to transform the individual, our society and the world.
Concordia’s core values stem from those long prized by its founding institutions. Concordia has adopted the motto of the city of Montreal, Concordia salus, which speaks to well-being through harmony. The union of two very different institutions of higher education has led to an exceptionally successful synthesis of compatible and timely values.
These values fall into two broad categories: excellence and opportunity.
Concordia values the curiosity and engagement of its students and faculty. Curiosity about the world around us, respectful engagement with those who inhabit it, and strong determination to improve it lead to productive exploration of current understandings, a rich spectrum of creative activity and practice, and the creation and dissemination of new knowledge.
Concordia values the openness and respect necessary to provide opportunities to a highly diverse student and faculty population. Diversity at Concordia is interpreted broadly: for example, in addition to embracing diversity in ethnicity, gender, language, and accessibility, Concordia provides students with different and original ways of exploring their interests. Enabling students, faculty, and staff to make a progressive impact on their world in ways that respect and engage the uniqueness of each individual is a hallmark of Concordia
1In other words, a university with a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programmes, including many doctoral programs, and with a number of professional programs, but without the disciplines characteristic of the “medical/doctoral” universities, such as medicine, dentistry, law, nursing, architecture and pharmacy.
The "Real Education for a Real World" motto perfectly reflects the academic environment and outcomes that I associate with Concordia University... and one that I would very much like to see maintained. It is a motto that people in and outside the Concordia community, whether they be other universities, potential/ current students, professionals, businesses, parents, etc. can understand and relate to.
As an alumni I would very much like to see Concordia continue its efforts to bridge the philosophy-policy-practice gap by striving to operationalize this very appropriate motto. Creating a learning community with philosophies, policies and practices that help the students... and staff successfully prepare for and take leadership roles in the "real world" is much preffered (in my academic experience) to filling ivory towers with disengaged minds and bodies.
The communication strategy you have adopted and the rapport you are establishing with the Concordia community is truly outstanding. I am certain that the Community will not always agree with your decisions, but (I am confident that) we will never be able to complain about not understanding the rationale behind them. Keep up the great work!
An excellent question was raised at the Loyola Open Consultation. The question was how do we reconcile an open door with academic excellence. I think that we have to allow students, especially those we consider as Mature Students, to enter our programs but be more selective in who continues in the programs. That is, we should be willing to fail students who do not perform well academically. At one time we tried to implement a super fail program where students could not come back to school immediately after having failed. This was not maintained to my knowledge, and we seemed at one point to be bending over backwards to allow failed students to continue in order to bolster our numbers. When weak students enter more advanced courses they can impede the progress of the better students. It is very frustrating for professors to have to review introductory material
and still have students who don't understand much.
We have a good Counselling and Development department and over the years I have tried to inform my introductory level students about them. They have various workshops and can provide career counselling etc.
In addition, we have excellent workshops offered by the Concordia
Libraries on a wide range of topics dealing with finding and evaluating information.
How do we get students to avail themselves of the resources
available on campus? One is to make sure they are informed in classes, on MyConcordia, and by tables during the term. Also, we could identify students who are in academic jeopardy after their first term and ensure that they seek help.
If students do not benefit from counselling, having some time to
adjusting to university life, a new language etc and have a string of R's, F's and D's on their transcripts after 30 credits we should tell them goodbye.
Lets also continue to celebrate our good students--Dean's Lists,
Dear Dr. Woodsworth,
I just want to let you know how much I appreciate the leadership that you bring to Concordia, my university. I am a (very) mature student who returned to Concordia in 2001 to do a second MA and I am now completing a SIP PhD in Applied Human Sciences. I have studied at Concordia for many years (obtaining doctoral candidacy in 1988 in the Department of Religion). I have
always taken pride in being a Concordia student. I felt that there were some dark years in the not-so-distant past; years of heaviness and secrecy.
However, with your arrival, I have experienced a renewed sense of
excitement. Your openness (strategic plan, website, opportunity to contact you) and leadership style are truly a breath of fresh air and I am once again proud to be affiliated with our university.
Thank you and warmest wishes,
Dear President Woodsworth,
Thank you very much for this personalized invitation, which was wonderful to receive. I attended part but not all of the open meeting on the 27th, and my decision to write to you today is sparked both by what I heard and by what I did not hear during the time I was able to stay.
My first comment pertains to the relation of teaching to research. While it is clear that these two aspects of our mandate are in tension for some faculty members, I wish to express a different view. From semester to semester, or year to year, it is doubtless true that teaching or research may take priority for me, but over the long term my experience is that good research cannot help but to make for more up-to-date and alive teaching, while good teaching
contributes meaningfully to my ability to clearly communicate my ideas to my peers. My experience on hiring committees within the Art History department suggests that I am not alone in seeing these two pursuits as mutually enriching rather than mutually exclusive. Our recent hires all have wonderfully active research profiles, and I hear equally good things about their teaching from their students. In keeping with recent directions in the University, I am convinced that Concordia can and must excel at both of these crucial facets of education. There are different ways to accomplish this goal; we have some ETA appointments who only teach, and some research chairs who teach comparatively very little. Such
flexibility is undoubtedly important, for there is no one royal road to success. I believe, however, that it should be fostered against the general background of a professorial corps that aims to excel in both spheres of our profession.
To build this joint excellence, it is not enough to have good professors, however. We must also have good students, and most especially good graduate students, for its is in our graduate programs that research and teaching come together most fully. As you deliberate about the best way to focus our limited resources I would like to take this opportunity to express my conviction that increasing the entrance scholarships available to our graduate students would be one of the most effective ways of enhancing the standard of academic excellence at Concordia AND of improving the quality of our students' experience. As such, I believe that it
should be an integral part of our strategic research plan.
In our most recent internal performance appraisal in Art History, lack of graduate funding was identified as the major challenge facing the department. Each year more and more highly qualified students apply to our MA and PhD programs -- an indication of the strong national reputation of our graduate programs. Yet the majority of the students we accept into the MA program go elsewhere. As a past Graduate Program Director, I know that this is primarily because of the substantially lower level of funding we provide compared to other Universities. In 2004 our average entry award was only 29% of the average award offered by our major competitor; since then the situation has worsened considerably. It is frequently the most qualified and talented students that we
lose, and many of the equally capable students whom we do accept need to work during the school year, posing an added burden to the pursuit of their studies. From my perspective, lack of student scholarship funding (particularly in the Humanities, which lacks a tradition of scholarship funding through professorial research grants) is one of the biggest impediments to academic excellence at Concordia.
Overall, I find Concordia to be a wonderful place to be an academic:
vibrant, flexible and humane. I have wonderful colleagues and have experienced a tremendous degree of institutional support. On the rare occasions when I do consider incentives to change institutions, the promise of more uniformly talented graduate students is always a chief consideration.
Our graduate programs bring research and teaching together. As such, they occupy a special place at the heart of the University project.
In recent years Concordia has made a dramatic move to renew and enhance the professorial corps of the University; perhaps it is time now to turn some of that attention to our graduate student population.
Thank you, President Woodsworth, for this opportunity to express my concerns.
1. I don't agree with the re-branding of the logo. Usually you'd like a University to stand for heritage ... culture ... the new "branding" does no such thing.
2. The University should consider a law program.
3. To be quite honest, the aforementioned strategic direction seems rather generic. I think there needs to be a strategic direction as to how you expect to compete with McGill.
4. On a positive note, I think the spending on infrastructure is excellent. The EV building and the future JMSB/GM is well overdue. I would also suggest some kind of change to the outside of the Hall building, which is a hideous specimen ....
5. I think we need to start treating this school as a business. Get out of deficit. And the idea of re-allocating the deficit to different faculties (some of whom are not in a deficit themselves, but become in a deficit because of Concordia's spending) is ridiculous and handicapping.
I think a lot more has to be done than fancy word art on a page, that frankly, I feel is more words than action. I truly hope this new leadership takes initiatives to make this school more competitive.
Finally ... the name "Concordia". I know this is getting quite MACRO, however how do you expect to compete with McGill or other schools when the name of your school is GENERIC? There are two CONCORDIA's in Canada, and dozens more in the U.S. All of which are COMMUNITY COLLEGES. I feel like this biggest mistake this school has ever made was changing its name to Concordia. Sir Georges Williams University would have been a better choice because there is only one.
Good luck differentiating a generic name and a generic strategy.
This school needs to hire McKinsey ... or Bain ... professionals ... it would be money well spent.
As this article says (http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2008/12/09/turn-general-motors-into-a-public-school/), public schools are like GM. If you compare Concordia with GM, there isn't a whole lot that is different.
- we have a product that isn’t competitive internationally
- union labor force
- costly pension and health care obligations
- management promoted and rewarded despite decades of failure
Instead of cutting costs, we must start doing things differently. Firing people to save money just results in less people doing the same amount of work. We're still heading in the wrong direction.
How much money do we spend in print ads, and other media spots? Can we see the return on investment on this? Is this money spent wisely? How much money can we save by outsources most of IITS' services?
Refocusing where we advertise (I suggest the web), and outsourcing IT spending is a logical thing to do. Rather than cutting the staffing for senseless operations.
Let's shake things up. Out with the old, forward with the new.
I believe that Concordia has a vibrant vision, "Real Education for the Real World". I have heard this statement resonate amongst students, alumni, and faculty.
I completed my undergraduate degree at Concordia in 2004, and have been working in student recruitment for the university for the last 2 years.
I attended the public consultation held yesterday at SGW, and feel compelled to comment on an issue that has overshadowed my time here:
We have one of the strongest Communications departments in the country. We also have one of the strongest business schools, and the same can be said of our Faculty of Fine Arts. Students, parents & school staff from across the country come to me to comment on this and applaud our programs.
It has, however, become evident to me that one of our biggest problems in terms of recruitment/image branding is our poor communication & marketing. How is this possible when we have leaders in those fields within our own walls? Individuals who know what Concordia is about.
Why do we have numerous repetitive publications? And why is feedback and input from recruiters/students not taken into consideration when producing these publications? Why are marketing, recruitment, and admissions not seen as a holy trinity needing to communicate, move & react together? What is the message being perpetuated in our publications? Do they really capture the essence of who & what Concordia University is? And what of the posters & banners, peppered with images that in no way represent my experience as a Concordia student?
These are the tools used to recruit, and if they fail to communicate our mission & values, then we will fail to attract the students we claim to be so in touch with. We fail to promote ourselves.
In my opinion, we are doing a poor job of showcasing our strengths and uniqueness, and have attempted to brand ourselves as something we are not: a competitor to McGill's world class academia/research. We have our own horn to toot, on aspects that many like myself appreciate far more than "international world class reputations". Let's focus on that, get the great minds we already have on campus together (in terms of design, marketing, communications), use the student experience to our advantage (engage student leaders in the process), and produce marketing/recruitment tools that will stand out in the way Concordia does.
That being said, I commend this effort and hope that it will bring along positive change. Concordia is a place I am proud of and believe in. I just wish to believe in the image it is giving off.
I am an ex PhD graduate of this University. I am working as a faculty member in the same University for more than 15 years. I admire the policy of Concordia about access to higher education to all kinds of students.
I am , however, becoming increasingly concerned about a parallel philosophy being pursued in a subtle way by some administrators having control over the academic quality. The philosophy appears to be to make degrees accessible to students who are in good standing (except the academic performance). This potentially hurts the quality of a University level education. With easy access to entry and similarly easy access (using several loopholes which a clever student can use as his/her rights) to getting a degree, the University may eventually become no better than a high level college so far the quality of education that the students carry with them.
I can appreciate the situation under which the administration (academic related) has to make these subtle adjustments. That is to show to the funding agency (Govt. and..) a good rate of return of graduates to the society at large. But my concern remains about the quality of education that the professors are dedicated to provide versus the compromises that they are made to comply with since otherwise the funding agency may turn their backs to Concordia University.
I am not sure how to best strike a balance between getting lots of funds coming, lots of students enrolling and lots of not so good quality students graduating with a University level degree. But I leave this to people who may have more experience in handling such delicate balance.
Thank you very much.
Im an undergraduate in Biochem(Spec). In order to excel the university's academic excellence and integrity the admission standards need to be higher. We have very competitive science programs, therefore make competitive standards (not cote R's of 20.00). Students should have to show that they can handle the weight of the program. By doing so, more students will actively choose either Con U or McGill if they are faced with equal standards! Our academia will benefit.
I think it is essential that any strategic plan make recruitment and retention of topnotch faculty a central priority. I thought this had been in an earlier draft of the strategic plan that was presented by members of the governing board at Arts and Science Faculty Council last year and am surprised that it seems to have disappeared.
A Real Education for a Real World. Plan your strategic plan around that motto and you will attract exactly the needed this university. Planning all your actions around this one motto will avoid having faculty memebers feel that they should "look elsewhere for a more rewarding university". What makes students in the community come to this university is the idea that Concordia is different than McGill or UdM. You will attract unique faculty and students by focusing all your actions around that single motto.
What made me come to concordia is exactly what is said in the Strategic Plan - students are attracted based of the department's reputation. It is the department that educates students, not the Concordia administration. Therefore focus resources on maintaining and improving your departments. Creating and upgrading facilities is an excellent first step which Concordia is doing. Congrats!
Lean Management - Long term goals
McGill claims that its cost of admininstration is around 7% of its budget.
I would suggest a longer term goal, say over ten years, to lower management costs to 9% of the budget and then to 7.5% of the budget. If management achieved the 7.5% target then no-one would begrudge them their performance bonuses (provided they also fit within the 7.5% cap).
Lean Management - Student:Staff ratio
The ideas mentioned for providing an outstanding student experience emphasis the need for a lower student:staff ratio. While the current ratio of 27:1 is better than the high of 33:1 only a few years ago, it is much higher than the figure of 22:1 from the mid 1990's, and the figure of 20:1 from the early 1990's. This compares to a ratio of 15:1 to 17:1 for McGill, Montreal, and Laval today. These figures simply highlight the need to recruit and retain more faculty; that is, to spend more on core activities, and hence to reduce administration costs if any of the strategic aims are to be achieved.
Lean Management - Capping Administrative Costs
I was delighted to see the word "efficient" used in association with management. There is a sense that administration costs at Concordia are bloated and growing. I would place them at 25%-30% of the total budget at present, though I would not be surprised if they were indeed a larger percentage than this. Actual percentages are not clear because there is no agreed definition of which cost items are management cost items.
So first we need an agreed definition. Second we need to make the figures public. Third we need to set hard caps on management costs as a percentage of the budget.
I raise this issue, not so much to discuss management, but to say that the core activities of the university are teaching and research, and that the bulk of the budget should be directed to these core activities. I believe 85% of the budget is a minimum that should be directed to the face-to-face, classroom and lab level activities of teaching and research.
So I would suggest a very public concrete goal of the strategic plan should be to cap Concordia's management expenses at 15% of the budget as quickly as possible.
I think a stated goal of 85:15 split of the budget would emphasise how committed Concordia is to its goals of academic quality, the student experience, and fiscal responsibility.
A strategic plan at a university is a construct of a collective. It provides direction and guidance to the collective, but at a university it should never be seen as an imperative to be followed by all without question. It is essential that a university clearly endorses academic freedom in its strategic plan even to the extent of condoning and supporting those who choose not to follow the strategic plan.
Hence, I believe a university strategic plan should have a clause, which I have dubbed the "Right-to-be-Different Clause", clearly stating that everyone has the right not to follow the plan: that is, the academic freedom to set one's own direction, priorities, and plan; the academic freedom to speak out against the strategic plan; and the right and expectation not to be discriminated against because of their stance.
It is this that sets a university apart from a corporation, or a government department, or a military unit. We expect people to challenge the status quo, the conventional wisdom, the majority opinion, and it is our duty to defend their right to do so.
Central Role of Departments
While I endorse the need for mechanisms to support cross disciplinary activities, and to include their consideration in a process of strategic planning, I still endorse that departments should be the central planning and decision making unit in the university.
Above I have stressed the primary role that faculty and staff through their participation in setting and offering programmes and courses. They do this through their involvement in the department. And it is the hiring within a department that shapes the longer term direction of the university.
There has been a trend to diluting the role of departments. We should reverse this trend.
Primary Role of Faculty and Staff
I believe absolutely that any strategic plan for any university must state categorically that faculty and staff play the primary role in shaping the university. This is so obvious that it is often taken as a given, and therefore left unsaid. It should be stated loud and clear.
This is not meant to exclude students from having a role, but to recognize the long term commitment and impact of faculty and staff compared to the much shorter time that students spend at Concordia, and the differences in roles and responsibilities.
Faculty and staff create the programmes, curricula, course contents, teaching materials, teaching methods and approaches, research directions, research facilities, teaching facilities --- everything that impacts the experience of students, staff, and faculty in the university.
It is their intellectual engagement, debate, determination that is the basis of all plans and activities that shape the academic environment. It is their role in hiring and promotion that sets academic standards, shapes the membership of the department, and hence its future directions.
There is no academic quality without the faculty and staff creating it, nurturing it, recognizing it.
There is no outstanding student experience and engagement without an outstanding
faculty and staff experience. It is the engagement of the faculty and staff that is the other side of the coin of student engagement. It is the faculty and staff who create the intellectual environment for students.
There is no community engagement and social responsibility without the engagement of faculty and staff and without faculty and staff being the role models for social
I am glad to see efforts being made to establish a strategic plan. You have a long way to go from this high-level strategic direction that reads like a public communique to a real process of creating a strategic plan that also develops the related budget hand-in-hand in a truly grass roots fashion.
Best of luck.
I can only stand in awe of the author of today's article on the strategic planning initiative found on page 4 of today's Concordia Journal. Of all the possible comments that could have been quoted -- the constructive and well thought out comments offered at strategic planning open consultations to date -- what could have motivated the article's author to quote two of the *least* supportive comments made to date! I am totally disgusted.
I think that a serious attempt at improving Concordia status
should start with telling the truth about its current state, and not
obviously untrue statements, such as the following excerpt from
the CRC-CFI document (available on the Strategic Planning website):
"The Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science is known internationally for its excellence in research and graduate studies, as well as outstanding teaching and training at the undergraduate level."
Not to discount our top researchers' singular achievements, I can
state (with a clear conscience) that, overall:
1. Concordia is NOT "internationally" known for its "excellence"
in research (or else we would be able to attract better grad's
than the bunch we have).
2. Concordia is NOT "internationally" known for its "excellence"
in teaching (or else we would have better attendance at our
It is my personal opinion that necessary conditions for having BOTH "very good" research and "very good" teaching include: (a) lower average teaching load; smaller classes; assignment of courses according to expertise and interest; support and reward for teaching innovation (not just "great" teaching). (b) support and reward for higher "quality" (not quantity) research endeavors of real-world significance. (c) professional and fair management that actually and consistently promotes these qualities.
So, if you are ready to describe Concordia, as it really is, actually listen to what the critics have to say, then prepare an action plan with teeth, then you shall have allies from the more idealistic and younger crowd, to help you turn Concordia around, into a "very
good" university- with a lot of concerted effort, over many years.
In her interview in the Gazette on Oct. 31, Dr. Woodsworth, is presumably referring to open meetings called to discuss the strategic plan when she regrets that members of the university community are ‘slow to share their concerns’.
Consultation is not asking colleagues to throw ideas up to mostly silent administrators on a dais. If the president wishes to know what the community thinks, she should start by visiting the academic departments. Here is where the wisdom of the organization resides, where strengths and weaknesses can be identified. She should then insist that the regular structures – departments, faculty councils and senate – develop the plan. It is here that academic policy is set and where the strategic plan must be crafted.
The plan is just one of many problems Concordia must resolve which must be done through the structure and with goodwill, not with websites, ‘speed-dating roundtables’ and ‘scribbling on paper tablecloths.’
President, Concordia University Faculty Association
This fall a number of academic departments at Concordia University wrote detailed letters to Judith Woodsworth, our new president and CEO, specifying their concerns about the current functioning of our administration, including budgetary priorities as they affect our academic responsibilities to the students and community. So it was a surprise to read in her interview published in the October 31st Montreal Gazette that "so far members of the community have been slow to share their concerns." Communication requires a person to listen and respond to concerns.
Concordia's uniqueness is that we are not an obtuse University like McGill. We are in addition to our research, an institution that offers an applied knowledge. It is what has made us marketable. While there are a few who detest our motto "A Real Education for a Real World", the fact remains it works "out there" in the community and resonates with young people and maintains our competitive edge.
No need to fix things that are not broken.
I like the current motto "Real Education for a Real World". While many academics and individuals in our institution may not like the motto, the fact remains that it works "out there" with young people wanting to find employment or seeking an "applied education". We are not an obtuse University like McGill and we should become another McGill either. We offer our students applied knowledge as well - it's what makes us unique.
This looks very good. However, we have already done a lot of long-time planning. It seems to me that we should spend more time executing plans.
Something that has to become a clear priority with very transparent immediate steps is professor's salaries. It is becoming public information that our salaries are well below average (in comparison to both Canada's and Quebec's averages). As a recently tenured faculty member with a very active research agenda, external grants, and a strong publication record, this obviously makes me think that perhaps I should leave Concordia. When I hear that while our salaries keep falling behind the admistrators' compensations kept increasing ,well, I feel I am being taken for granted and exploited. This is really depressing. I love Concordia's students and openness to innovative research and teaching, but I feel that I should start looking elsewhere for a more rewarding university.
As part-time faculty member and former student at Concordia, I've seen first-hand the transformation that Concordia has undergone, especially the John Molson School of Business. I believe that the university is under good management and is working hard towards the future, however I believe that not enough focus is placed on the environment and recycling.
In every classroom there is a garbage bin that is overflowing, often times with scrap paper. In this day and age, with the ever increasing focus on being 'green', I would think that Concordia would embrace this and strive to not only provide the highest quality education to students, but also atttempt to reduce the carbon footprint left by the students and staff.
I would propose that a program be instituted that would recylcle the thousands of coffee cups that are thrown in the garbage each day. A program like this would show Concordia as a leader in education but also the environment, and challenge other universities to follow. From the university's point of view, there would no doubt be press coverage of the program and could be marketed internally as well.
I myself, am proud to be a staff and alumni of Concordia, and a program like this would only make me prouder.
As a new faculty hire, I am very optimistic for Concordia's future. I read with interest the Strategic plan. I think that the administration at Concordia, like at every University understands that the most important part of University's future is its faculty members. If Concordia wishes to continue to develop into a serious research University, it will have to continue to recruit and retain top quality faculty. In this light I am very perplexed and puzzled by the current situation with the ongoing CUFA union salary negotiation. The offer made by Concordia is even short of modest, and verges on ridiculous. In all honesty, much catch up has to be done in terms of salary for me to consider that Concordia is serious about wanting to keep me onboard for the long term.
Frankly, I cannot find words to express the extreme degree of indifference that this exercise "inspires" in me. It seems like a lot of gloss, a lot of buzzwords, another top-down marketing exercise on the part of corporate executives. Good luck to you, enjoy it, it's clearly "your" university and nobody else's.