Field notes #4: ‘Communication and collaboration will be critical in building our future’

In this new strategic directions report, interim CFO Patrick Kelley discusses how Financial Services works with departments across Concordia
January 11, 2016
By Patrick Kelley


In 2015, Concordia identified 
nine strategic directions to a next-generation urban research university. In Phase 2, we asked a diverse group of community members to describe encounters, ideas and campus activities that relate to these directions.

Here, Patrick Kelley, the interim chief financial officer, looks at how Financial Services is working with departments across the university to help Concordia thrive.  

Patrick Kelley: Financial Services and the future

A next-generation university is one that will depend on administrative units that are reliable, adaptable and in full partnership with all departments in the university. Phase 2 of the Strategic Directions Initiative is an opportunity for Financial Services to set a course for tomorrow.

Work to date

Over the past months, Financial Services has been engaging in a wide variety of dialogue to help shape our future. In 2014-15, we completed a needs assessment investigating the technical and functional requirements of Financial Services, and in the last months we have engaged our staff and key partners in the Concordia community in a collaborative strategic visioning initiative.

Workshops, surveys, task groups, action planning and focused conversations have been important foundations of the process.

By learning what is important to our staff and key partners, we can build toward a Financial Services that enables Concordia, as a next-generation university, to thrive.

Emerging conversations

Based on what we have heard, it is clear that we need to investigate the interrelationships between our financial information system, the processes that support our work and how we engage with the community through training and communication. We operate in such a complex environment that no single “fix” can sustainably support our strategic directions.

Examples of the conversations that are emerging include the need to “mix it up” with other departments — communication and collaboration will be critical in building our future.

Financial Services has an important role to play in advising the university to “grow smartly.” The exciting initiatives stemming from this strategic direction require funds and fiscal management. So, in addition to fostering agility to respond to opportunities, the department also has a duty to ensure Concordia is in full compliance with laws and regulations.

Financial Services is also a pillar for the “double our research” direction, for which our processes and systems need the agility to respond to increasing and changing needs.


Learn more about Concordia’s nine strategic directions.


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