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Senate notes: April 2020

Concordia President Graham Carr provides updates on the university’s progress during the COVID-19 crisis
May 21, 2020
By Howard Bokser

Update from Concordia’s president

The university held its April 24 Senate meeting via Zoom video conferencing.

Concordia President Graham Carr informed Senate on recent positive news and achievements, including the appointments of Pascale Sicotte as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, and Annie Gérin as dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, both beginning August 1.

He reported that in April the Radio Television Digital News Association presented awards to projects led by the Department of Journalism’s Patti Sonntag and Aphrodite Salas, and the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings placed Concordia among the world’s top 20 universities for its work on sustainable cities and communities and climate change.

Carr summarized the many university activities since the campus closure on March 18 due to the COVID-19 crisis. During that time, Concordia did the following:

  • Trained more than 1,300 faculty members to deliver more than 2,000 courses online, through the Centre for Teaching and Learning
  • Closed its research labs, as per government directives, except those conducting COVID-19-related research and a few others; a Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science lab is being used as a national test site for Quebec-made masks
  • Instituted a pass/fail notation for courses, extended the late DISC (discontinue) deadline and allowed a 50 per cent rebate on late DISCs for students
  • Launched the COVID-19 Emergency Student Relief Fund
  • Began offering students online counselling and psychological and academic support through a number of university services
  • Suspended the June convocation and began exploring other options
  • Launched CU at Home to provide university-wide programming to help and engage students, staff, faculty and alumni
  • Released its UNESCO Prize-winning literacy software, ABRACADABRA and READS, through the Ministry of Education’s Open School portal
  • Encouraged its researchers to contribute their expertise to government and industry in areas including cybersecurity, supply chain and business technology management, social entrepreneurship and technology-driven inclusion of older adults
  • Launched iCARE, a global online survey of how countries and citizens are responding to COVID-19, through theLMontreal Behavioural Medicine Centre
  • Began supporting grocery delivery to seniors in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce district through the ACT project
  • Launched CU Cares, a collaboration between Concordia’s LIVE Centre and University Advancement to connect students, faculty, staff and alumni with external organizations

Carr added that Concordia administrators are now busy planning for a gradual, safe return to work and classes, which will require close coordination with many services such as public transportation, schools and daycares. The university is also assessing its finances.

He stressed that while summer terms will be offered exclusively online, they are now considering options for delivering education in the fall.

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