Senate meeting update: Sept. 16

Yesterday, Wlifrid Laurier University had their first senate meeting of the academic year, taking place at 4 p.m. in the Senate and Board Chambers.

After a brief introduction, the meeting got underway with the report from the president’s office. Max Blouw, Wilfrid Laurier University president, discussed the continued internal and external pressures facing Laurier during the current economic state of the country.
President’s update

Laurier is launching a new President’s Innovation Fund, which will provide those with excellent ideas to increase proficiencies to have the resources and assistance to develop a business plan for review and then possible recommendation.

Laurier has also launched a six word institutional proposition to represent the university. “It is that Laurier is about ‘Inspiring lives of leadership and purpose,’” said Blouw.

Blouw also discussed how the five largest universities in the country advocate for a larger portion of research funding available from the governments, and questioned if the money should be more evenly spread out between universities, and where Laurier fits into this system.

Blouw went on to question what the priorities of the federal and provincial governments will be regarding funding universities during a time of growing national debt.
ICT news

The meeting then moved on to an update from vice-president of academics Deb MacLatchy. She spoke first on the progress of her office on faculty restructuring.

The Information and Communication Technology has completed phase one of their review, and their priority plan will be released in early October.

Brantford campus

In a Brantford Campus update, Mohawk College Elgin St. campus might be moving to downtown Brantford, which could add 2,500 more students to the city core.

Office of the registrar

During the update from the office of the registrar, presented by Ray Darling, the question arose about the deans of the faculties having to make their own department’s schedule of classes.

Peter Tiidus, acting dean of the faculty of science, asked if it is possible for the office of the registrar to make these schedules in the future.

Darling replied that it would definitely be something his office would look into for the near future.
Academic planning

The office of the vice-president academic is currently working with the deans of each respective faculty to create a new academic structure.

They will be combining the century plan, created in 2005, and the results from Envisioning Laurier to create a new plan that will be in place from 2010-15.

Some of the goals for the plan include ideas that will flow from the university’s new vision and mission statement along with its core principles and themes, ensuring that the plan is future focused and grounded in the foundations the university has created for itself over the years.

The report by each of the deans is expected to be out near the end of September.

Between October and December, feedback from the vice-president academic, as well as faculty members, will occur through discussion with each of the deans. In January, the report will undergo the final review process before it goes to senate for voting in February.

H1N1 vaccine update

The university currently has a pandemic plan in place, in case of a serious outbreak; however, they do not have immediate access to any vaccines as of yet.

Joyce Lorimer, chair of the department of history, voiced concern about this and Blouw assured the senate that Laurier will have access to vaccines in the near future.

Blouw also addressed the issue of masks, and concluded that unless a person is infected, masks will not be available to the general population.