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Message from the Vice-President

Dear colleagues,

The services provided by the Services and Sustainability sector are at the heart of everyone’s day-to-day experience at Concordia. Our teams may not always be visible, or recognized, but the result of our work is felt by thousands of individuals every day. Our sector contributes immensely to the overall success of Concordians and plays a significant role in the daily lives of our community.

From the buildings where people study, teach and work, to the information technology they use, to the professional development courses they take, to the coffee they buy on campus, we try our best to maintain and improve our community’s experience and provide a safe, comfortable and sustainable environment.

This past year, many of the projects we worked on not only provided immediate benefits but set the stage for responding to future needs as well.

IITS, for example, introduced a new enrolment dashboard as well as a new survey software, Qualtrics, so that our colleagues can make data-driven decisions with more robust analytics and have better accessibility and real-time information. IITS also sought to improve the student and faculty experience by piloting a new course evaluation platform which would help automate what has traditionally been a manual and labour-intensive process.

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) launched the workplace inspection app — the third and final component of the EHS workplace health and safety module in SAP. This allows us to conduct assessments more systematically, more quickly and more often, adding improved diligence to our practices.

On the security front, the department was renamed Campus Safety and Prevention Services. This followed the recommendations of the President’s Taskforce on Anti-Black Racism. The new name also serves as a better embodiment of the work our colleagues perform daily. To build partnerships with our community, initiatives such as specialized sensitivity training were provided to our agents, and outreach efforts were expanded by creating the Campus Safety Advisory Group.

Some of our ancillary services, including Residence Life, Conference Services, Parking Services and Printing, also ramped up their offerings as most people have now returned to campus. The number of events held on campus and in hybrid form has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Our residences are full of students wishing to benefit from the campus living experience. We continue to expand our services in order to respond to increasing volume and newly emerging needs.

Sustainability remains a top priority at Concordia, and I am heartened to see that many of our colleagues throughout the institution are becoming true ambassadors. We continue to implement measures that enable us to infuse our everyday practices with sensibility and sensitivity regarding our environmental impact, such as the sustainable event program.

Concordia also launched PLAN/NET ZERØ in the spring of 2023, a holistic experimental approach to decarbonizing our campuses by 2040 that will transform our university into a living lab. Students, researchers and industry partners will explore, test and co-create new technologies and approaches to reduce energy consumption. This will include deep-energy retrofits of our facilities, starting with the Guy-De Maisonneuve (GM) Building.

The project has required a concerted effort from our team in Facilities Management, who have been working diligently over the past year to prepare for this significant undertaking. In parallel, the department continues to work to ensure that our campuses remain responsive to the community’s needs through several dozen ongoing renovation projects at any given time, a preventative maintenance program, as well as formulating long-term campus development plans for Sir George Williams and Loyola.

Human Resources continued to implement a new information system and ran workshops to help members of our community adapt to new ways of performing tasks and accessing services. HR also continued to support employees on a wide range of topics, from professional development to mental health to financial wellness. And our efforts did not go unnoticed as Concordia was recognized as a Top Montreal Employer for an eighth consecutive year thanks to the programs, services and benefits offered to our employees.

On the varsity front, we have a lot to take pride in. Many of our coaches were recognized and celebrated for their accomplishments this past year, nationally and internationally. Long-time Stingers women’s hockey coach Les Lawton was deservedly inducted into the Concordia Sports Hall of Fame. Likewise, we have stellar student athletes in our midst, such as Emily Fecteau, Jeremy Murphy, Alex Moore and Tyler Holland. Canada, and indeed the world, is taking notice.

As you will see in this report, our mission is to serve our community today, but to also anticipate how we can best serve in the future. It is a collective, group effort, and one that we continuously strive to improve every year.

In closing, I would like to thank each and every colleague in Services and Sustainability, as well as our partners across the university with whom we collaborate. We greatly appreciate their work throughout the year. Every person’s contribution is key to fulfilling our sector’s mission. I would also like to thank everyone from our team and our colleagues in University Communications Services who were involved in the production of this report.

I truly believe that part of our strength in the VPSS sector, and at Concordia, lies in our ability to stand together and break down barriers, work together in an integrated manner and advance the university’s goals in teaching, research, employment and community-building.

I am extremely proud to see that many of the initiatives and projects this year embodied just that.


Happy reading!

Michael Di Grappa
Vice-President, Services and Sustainability

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