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Senate Highlights: March 2024

Senate approves updates to EMBA program and new microprograms in sustainability and artificial intelligence
March 25, 2024

During her opening remarks to Senate, Provost Anne Whitelaw provided a brief update on the current enrolment situation and thanked everyone for the very successful Open House held in February.

Whitelaw congratulated the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team for winning the U SPORT national championships last week in Saskatoon, SK, highlighting that it’s the second time in three years the team has won the title. Last year, they won silver.

The provost also highlighted the accomplishments of undergraduate student Selma Herrero Lepers, who took home two prizes at the 2024 Délie ta langue! Public-speaking competition.

Whitelaw then congratulated the Concordia team that won the Jeux de la Traduction at the Université de Laval earlier this month.

Whitelaw mentioned an incident that occurred outside the offices of Hillel Concordia recently. She reiterated the university’s official response to the incident: “We are alarmed by what took place at the Hillel office on March 12, 2024. We do not tolerate intimidation on our campus. Campus Safety and Prevention Services responded rapidly to this incident. We are following up, according to our procedures and complaint mechanisms. Any violation of our policies will be sanctioned with the appropriate measures at our disposal, which may include suspension and expulsion in accordance with applicable policies. We are very concerned with any instances of violence and discrimination and we have no tolerance for acts of antisemitism and discrimination.”

Whitelaw also mentioned to Senate a message released by Michael di Grappa to the university community recently about the university’s policies regarding events on campus. The message was issued in response to questions the university received about cancelled bookings to use university spaces.

As stated in the message, “when any group submits a request to use a campus space for an event, we review the request to assess compliance with university policies. We also consider if the event content, the materials publicizing the event or any of its speakers may create a risk counter to university policy. If it is determined to be the case with the information available to us, the booking request may be cancelled. Furthermore, when an event has been approved to proceed, it can still be cancelled if information emerges that gives us reason to believe that the holding of the event in university space runs counter to university policy.”

Approval of updates to the Executive MBA program

Senate approved updates to the Executive MBA program. The program’s curriculum was last updated in 2013. The changes were made in response to profound transformations that have taken place in the global business landscape over the years since.

As stated in the background document, there has been a pronounced shift towards environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) considerations, reflecting a broader societal demand for responsible and sustainable business practices.

The revisions are designed to ensure that graduates from the program are well-prepared to lead in this new era of business.

A new course, EMBA 626 Business Opportunities and Cultural Immersion - Indigenous Perspectives, will require additional resources. However, the curriculum changes pose no resource implications for Concordia because the John Molson EMBA is a privatized program.

Approval of a new Microprogram in Applied Artificial Intelligence

Senate approved a new Microprogram in Applied Artificial Intelligence, proposed by The Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science (GCS).

The eight-credit graduate program is focused on project-driven and experiential learning. It seeks to attract current graduate students, alumni and working professionals with a programming background who are interested in developing their AI skills in a practical setting.

The new microprogram covers the main techniques involved in today's AI systems from traditional statistical learning to advanced deep learning models.

Over the course of two terms, students will be required to complete one course in applied machine learning and one course in applied deep learning. Students will learn through a hands-on AI project from design to implementation and evaluation.

In the first year, each one of the two courses will be offered to 60 students split into 4 labs of 15 students each. One course will be taught in the Fall term and one in the Winter term.

Approval of new Microprogram in Sustainability

Senate approved a new Microprogram in Sustainability. An interdisciplinary eight-credit program, it will be co-taught by faculty members who will bring their knowledge and expertise to explore sustainability from different disciplines and perspectives.

The program seeks to attract graduate students and professionals interested in deepening their knowledge of sustainability and/or interested in incorporating sustainability into their research or workplace.

The program will be comprised of one course offered over eight weeks in the summer. Students will be expected to commit full-time during one week of lectures and complete work on case studies for the remaining seven weeks.

The proposed microprogram supports Concordia’s commitment to sustainability by contributing to its 2025 sustainability in curriculum targets. It also brings the university closer to its desired 20 per cent threshold of sustainability inclusive courses.

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Concordia’s Board of Governors and Senate.


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