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Senate approves official recognition for two new research units

President proposes conversations on university’s future directions
September 17, 2014

University recognizes two research units

On Friday, September 12, at its first meeting of the 2014-15 academic year, Concordia’s Senate granted Established Research Centre status to the Centre for Clinical Research in Health (CCRH), and Emerging Research Infrastructure Status to the Centre for Microscopy and Cellular Imaging (CMCI).

To be officially recognized by the university, a research unit is expected to meet certain criteria laid out in Concordia’s Policy on Research Units and Infrastructure Platforms, which was updated in January 2014.

During his presentation to Senate, Graham Carr, vice-president of Research and Graduate Studies, emphasized the importance of having a strong and clear policy in place to recognize research units at the university. "It develops mechanisms that encourage researchers and graduate students to come together and cross-pollinate their expertise.”

The CCRH, directed by Roisin O’Connor and Andrew Ryder from the Department of Psychology, is “devoted to the psychosocial determinants of physical and mental health, with particular attention to research on the aetiology, treatment and prevention of physical and mental health problems.”

Directed by Christopher Brett and Alisa Piekny from the Department of Biology, the CMCI provides faculty and student researchers with training and access to modern microscopy-based resources.

President addresses new and returning Senators

After welcoming the 46 new and returning members of Senate, Concordia President Alan Shepard provided a briefing on the 2014-15 budget. He noted the budget has been revised to address budget compressions, which have been partially offset by admissions and enrolment numbers as well as additional measures to reduce expenses. More information will be shared with the Concordia community in the coming weeks.

Shepard also spoke about plans to launch a series of conversations this fall with students, faculty and staff to talk about the university’s future directions. This will be part of a strategic planning process that will result in a short document by the end of the academic year, which will outline the university’s collective sense of key priorities to build an even more solid future.

Academic Plan update

Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon provided an update on the Academic Plan, which included the launch of the newly created virtual home of the Student Success Centre. This web section regroups resources for students under five headings — math, science, writing, first-year experience, and next-generation skills. 

One of the five objectives of the Academic Plan is to promote program quality and innovation. With this in mind, Bacon reminded Senate that Concordia will host the third edition of its e.Scape Conference on October 1 and 2, under the theme, Innovations in Teaching: Getting the most out of online learning.

This year, the focus of Concordia’s digital learning strategy will be on integrating its development into each program. “We want to move to a model in which there’s much greater coherence in our digital offerings from the perspective of students, and much greater collective involvement of program faculty in articulating the place of digital technologies in student coursework,” said Bacon.

The Curriculum Innovation Fund, launched last year, will again be available but with a more defined focus on active learning and digital development. Cathy Bolton, vice-provost, teaching and learning, is expected to announce a call for proposals in the coming weeks.

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