By: Marina Gendi
President Tim Loreman announced the second annual State of the University Address on September 26, 2018, in the Al and Trish Huehn Theatre. It was informative, particularly for Concordia students, to understand what is going on around campus. He addressed some of the issues Concordia faces as well as the success the school has accomplished. If you missed it, don’t worry–this article covers key points of the address.
First, Dr. Loreman introduced some impressive numbers. Enrolment and student satisfaction are at an all-time high. He emphasized this in a series of surveys and satisfaction numbers compared to the Canadian average. For example, 44% of students believe that Concordia University has exceeded their expectations as opposed to the average 22% of Canadian students.
Next, information about the affairs of the Board of Governors was presented. The Board is seeing new changes. Mr. Russ Morrow is succeeding Mr. Mike Wade as the Board of Chair. The main concern of the board rests with the issues of the public vs. private debate regarding whether Concordia will remain an independent institution or switch over to a public one. The Board is working with representatives from the Alberta Government to tackle this situation.
The next topic that was covered was the Academic Plan of the school. Dr. Loreman relates the accomplishments of the university regarding the opening of the new Centre for Science, Research and Innovation Building, as well as emphasizing the grand opening of the Indigenous Knowledge and Research Centre. Further, the new science building has state-of-the-art science labs, a psychology clinic, is home to the Centre for Chinese Studies, and has a great multipurpose room: Design and Study. Also, Concordia is offering a new programs. The MEd in Educational Leadership. The goal is to launch the PsyD program in January or September of 2019. As well, the BSc in Information Technology is currently under review. Additionally, the school hopes to develop an Access program supporting marginalized individuals, such as mature, international, Indigenous, newcomer, and single-parent students.
Dr. Loreman proceeded by presenting financials. In 2017/18, the university’s revenues grew by 1.5% ($500,000). Furthermore, the school saw an increase of 4.4% from tuition revenue, but interestingly, this is from the increasing of enrolment rather than the increase of tuition. Concordia’s expenditures grew by 5.3% for the year ending in March 31, 2018. In addition, the first quarter of the school’s 2019 fiscal school year has a deficit of $235,000 but last year during this same time it was $761 766.
Concordia’s accomplishments over the past year was the next subject on the agenda. For example, The Student Life and Learning Student Success Centre has student services, life support, and study space. Dr. Loreman describes the centre as a one-stop place for all, resembling an “Apple store.” This year, Concordia is also offering the new Concordia Commitment program, and it is designed to help students complete their degrees and successfully find job placements after. Also mentioned was the Indigenous Strategy as well as International accomplishments and the new relations between different countries.
Finally, the address concluded with research developments and risks Concordia might face. Research has been evolving at CUE; for example, Dr. Tolly Bradford received around $100,000 in grant funding for his research on the Hudson’s Bay Company. Some risks the school is facing are financial pressures from things such as the opening of the new building. Being a private institution means that the government does not help support such endeavours.
The address contained promising information and exemplified the success of Concordia University of Edmonton. Dr. Loreman’s presentation can be found live on the Concordia website.