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Board of Governors notes: March 2020

Concordia President Graham Carr delivers update on COVID-19 steps
May 7, 2020
By Howard Bokser

Concordia President Graham Carr addressed the Board of Governors at its meeting on March 11. He asked Board members to refer to his report.

Carr reiterated the loss felt by the Concordia community after the passing of L. Jacques Ménard (BComm 67, LLD 06), alumnus and chancellor emeritus. “He was truly beloved and had a real passion for and impact on education,” Carr said.

He thanked faculty, staff, students and other volunteers who helped make Winter Open House 2020 on February 15a great success.

Carr reported that the Quebec budget, which was released on March 10, was positive for education and higher education in particular.

“I want to publicly thank Finance Minister Eric Girard and Education Minister Jean-François Roberge,” he said. “The government’s investments in sustainability align well with Concordia’s.”

He then turned his attention to the evolving COVID-19 crisis. Carr reported that the university was taking and will continue to take its cues from government health agencies. He said Concordia officials are in ongoing contact with other universities in Quebec and the country, which share the same reality.

Carr mentioned that Concordia has been monitoring the situation from the outset because many of its students are currently in China.

He reported that Concordia activated its communicable disease response plan in February, led by Roger Coté, vice-president of services. Among other steps, the services team has promoted personal hygiene practices across the campuses.

“Our primary goal is to do the most to protect the health of our community members,” Carr said.

Concordia has also begun prudent communications to raise awareness through eblasts, updating its COVID-19 web page and adding to a growing list of online FAQs

With a month to go before the end of the term on April 13, the university was looking at scenarios of how to continue classes online if necessary, which it has the technology to do. Concordia’s Centre for Teaching and Learning and Instructional and Information Technology Services are developing an action plan to train faculty how to deliver their courses remotely.

The university will then consider its options for exams and the summer term as time progresses. It will also review its upcoming activities and events on campus.

“We are taking this very extremely seriously,” he said.

Coté added that Concordia will be addressing queries and delivering information in a transparent fashion. “We want members of the community to update themselves daily,” he said.

Environmental Health and Safety Report

Coté briefly summarized the highlights of the fourth-quarter Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Report, which is available online. He said that the increase in non-compliance is because EHS has been focusing on finding, addressing and correcting these issues.

“Overall, we’re on a good trend,” he said.

Updates to Concordia policies

The Board approved revisions to two existing polices as well as the adoption of two new policies. Of note, revisions were brought to the Policy on Conflict of Interest (BD-4), which applies to all Concordia employees, while the new Policy on Employee Disclosure of Wrongdoings (BD-16) was approved. 

BD-4 is now a pure conflict of interest policy, while BD-16 provides a separate mechanism for employees acting in good faith to disclose wrongdoings.

Find out more about Concordia’s Board of Governors.

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