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Board of Governors and Senate notes: April 2021

Board of Governors learns about Concordia’s equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization initiatives
May 4, 2021
By Howard Bokser

Board of Governors hears presentation on Concordia’s steps toward equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization

Chair Helen Antoniou welcomed the Board of Governors to the April 14 meeting, via video conferencing. Concordia President Graham Carr reiterated a few points from his report:

  • The Innovation Lab, where students can develop new ideas, launched
  • BMO Financial Group’s $2.5-million gift to the Campaign for Concordia will establish the L. Jacques Ménard–BMO Centre for Capital Markets at the John Molson School of Business, and the BMO Fine Arts Internship Program
  • Doggone Foundation gift of nearly $2 million will expand the Elspeth McConnell Fine Arts Awards and establish the Bill McLennan Northwest Coast Travel Award
  • Heather Igloliorte, associate professor of art history, co-curated INUA, the first exhibition at the new Inuit Art Centre, known as Qaumajuq, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

Carr reported on other news:

  • FTE registration for 2020-21 up 4.2 per cent from the previous year, and applications for the summer and fall look good so far
  • At its March 19 meeting, Senate approved a new fall reading week and 12-week terms beginning in fall 2023
  • An understandable, significant drop in grant applications in fall 2020, although in some cases there was a higher-than-usual success rate
  • The recent Quebec budget held few surprises, but final details still to come

Presentation on equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization activities

Anne Whitelaw, interim provost and vice-president, academic, presented an overview of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization at Concordia. She defined each term:

  • Equity means fair treatment for all
  • Diversity signifies a representation of different viewpoints
  • Inclusion conveys that all members are valued and welcome
  • Decolonization is an ongoing process involving rethinking current practices and enabling diverse knowledge systems to thrive

Whitelaw highlighted the university’s many initiatives, including:

The aim is to support students and faculty through training as well as by listening to student, faculty and staff experiences.

Senate learns about Concordia’s ongoing efforts to plan for the fall term

At their April 23 meeting, held via video conferencing, Concordia President Graham Carr updated Senate on a few points not covered in his report. As the term nears its end, he thanked all faculty and staff and wished the best to students.

Concordia is now focusing on planning for the fall. Challenges include:

  • Scheduling courses, especially regarding in person versus online only
  • Health and safety issues, such as social distancing, flow in and out of buildings
  • Uncertainty for international students
  • Being ready by the end of May, although it will continue to be an evolving issue through the summer

Carr also reported:

  • All universities are working with the government on these issues
  • Relatively few cases of COVID-19 reported on campus, and none in the past seven days
  • 1,500 people come to campus daily, Monday to Friday

And Carr was happy to deliver some good news:

  • Space Concordia’s rocketry division won the most recent phase of the Base 11 Space Challenge, which includes teams from top American universities, and are now preparing for the launch phase in December
  • Concordia placed 62nd out of 1,115 institutions worldwide in the 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, which quantify the higher ed sector’s progress toward achieving the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the university ranked in the world’s top 25 in three SDG categories: Reduced Inequalities, Climate Action, and Sustainable Cities and Communities, and tied for first in Canada for Reduced Inequalities

Find out more about Concordia’s
Senate and Board of Governors.



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