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Happy New Year and Return to Classes

January 29, 2020


The start of an academic term is always an exciting time, but this year we begin our term at the start of a new decade. Hopefully you are returning from your holidays rested, refocused, and with a renewed sense of optimism. There is much work to do in 2020 and just imagine the potential for Laurentian by 2030.  

Being as this is my first blog since November, I wanted to share some highlights and updates on various activities. On December 8, Johanne and I hosted a Festive Gathering at 179 John Street. It was a wonderful opportunity to engage with members of the broader Greater City of Sudbury community, as well as my colleagues here at the University. Thank you for adding extra cheer to my holiday season. 

On December 16, we informed the Laurentian University community that Dr. Rizwan Haq would be stepping down from the interim position as Vice-President Research on December 31, 2019. Dr. Haq provided a great deal of leadership and dedication to the interim role. I thank him for his commitment to Laurentian University’s success.

In turn, we also announced that Dr. Tammy Eger would be stepping into the role of Interim Vice-President, Research, until our current search is complete. I’d like to thank Dr. Eger for taking on the role as an advocate for the development and support of research, scholarship and associated creative activities across the entire Laurentian Community. We look forward to permanently filling the position and interviews have begun.  

When I began my term, I wanted to ensure that my office door was seen as open and that members of the broader Laurentian community would feel as though I am accessible to them for answering questions or hearing about their exciting new endeavours. I am happy to say that since November, I have hosted three breakfasts in my office with a wide variety of individuals to discuss Laurentian University. Together, we’ve discussed why they choose to be part of the Laurentian experience, and what we can do together to advance university priorities. 

In addition to hosting breakfast, I have hosted two drop-in with President sessions. These sessions are 10-minute opportunities to drop into the office and briefly discuss with me, anything you’d like. I enjoy hearing your ideas, where you see opportunities and how we can better shape the future of higher education in Sudbury. My office will continue to organize these opportunities and I very much look forward to them. All spaces are first come, first serve.  


Senate Reports

You may have noticed that my Senate Reports are being posted online alongside these blog posts. These reports include a variety of information, such as administrative updates, as well as a Kudos section for those who I would like to recognize for their successes and contributions.  Notice of these reports going live on our website will be sent out through the E-Newsletter, which is circulated through communication emails. I invite you to have a look and to read previous reports that are listed at


Strategic Plan 2018-2023

Mid 2020 marks the middle point of our 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. For those of you who have been at Laurentian since before its creation, you will recall an extensive consultation process and discussions hosted by Dr. Linda Ambrose, in her role as Special Advisor to the President and Vice-Chancellor. Those consultations took place over 15 months, included 50 consultation meetings and saw 1500 people contribute to the plan. 

Since that process, much has changed. Laurentian University has undergone quite an extensive transformation in its senior management, with the appointment of new, and interim individuals, including: Vice-President Administration, Vice-President Academic and Provost, Vice-President Research, and not to mention, a new President and Vice-Chancellor. We are working hard to fill the interim positions with full time appointments as soon as possible. Please stay tuned for further updates. 

Laurentian’s Strategic plan boasts twenty five outcomes that we hope to achieve by 2023. Each of these outcomes are tied to our shared values as an organization, including: 

  • The North Inspires Us
  • Student Success is Our Success
  • Teaching and Learning Define Us
  • Curiosity Drives Our Research
  • Relationships are our Priority
  • These shared values are demonstrated in the hard work and dedication undertaken by all of Laurentian University’s faculty, staff and students, as well as our extended community, including members of our Board of Governors, Federated and Affiliated University Partners, alumni, and community stakeholders.


Strategic Plan Mid-point Review

As we embark on the mid-point review of our progress in the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, I encourage each of you to visit the website, and ask you to submit current and ongoing activities that correspond with each of the 25 Outcomes. 

You can also share your progress by emailing 


Research Week

I am looking forward to attending my first Research Week at Laurentian University this February 24th to February 28th. I encourage students, staff and faculty alike to attend events and learn more about the variety of research being undertaken. As a researcher, I am continuously impressed by the high quality of research being produced by our colleagues.

The week begins with the Opening Ceremony on the 24th at 12:00 pm in W-132 and will be highlighted by a keynote speech from the 2019 Laurentian University Research Excellence Award recipient, Dr. Amadeo Parissenti.

Throughout the week, several faculty members and research groups and centres will be organizing events and symposiums to showcase their research, as well as our partners at HSNRI and SNOLAB.

Stay tuned, a program will be available in February at the following link:


Strategic Mandate Agreement  3 (SMA3)

Community engagement sessions about the SMA3 have been hosted. These sessions were meant to provide an overview of the process, as well as encourage participants to ask questions and engage in conversation about the Strategic Mandate Agreement.

For more information about the Strategic Mandate Agreement 3, please visit



As I mentioned in my last blog update, I would like to recognize new permanent members of the Laurentian community, as well as those embarking on new roles and opportunities within our institution. From the period of November to the end of December, I would like to recognize the following individuals:

  • Gabrielle Cardinal, Counsellor, Counselling and Accessibility Services; and,
  • Julie Birnie, Executive Administrative Assistant, Office of the University Secretary and General Counsel.

I wish you all the best in your new endeavours.

On a final note, I would like to also welcome to campus Jennifer Abols as the new Executive Director of the Goodman School of Mines and the President and CEO of Mining Innovation Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation. Welcome, Jennifer.

Merci. Thank you. Miigwech.