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Queen's University
 

Principal Woolf’s Report to the University Senate

May 28, 2013

Speaking notes

Check against delivery

In addition to his written report, Principal Woolf provided the following updates:

Honours and Awards

As has been my practice I would like to draw Senate’s attention to some honours and awards that have been received by members of our community in the last month.

  • Former Vice-Principal (Research) and civil engineering professor Kerry Rowe is one of only four Canadians to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society this year.  This is an outstanding achievement and recognition of Professor Rowe’s international stature in scientific research. Professor Rowe is Queen’s second current FRS – the other is Professor Art Macdonald.
  • Sara Pavan, an international doctoral student in Political Studies, has been awarded a Trudeau Scholarship. She is one of 14 outstanding doctoral candidates across Canada to receive the scholarship this year, awarded to students who are enrolled in a social sciences or humanities program, and whose research is within one of four themes: human rights and dignity, responsible citizenship, Canada in the world, and people in their natural environment.
  • Environmental Studies professor and member of Senate Myra Hird has been selected for a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship. This professorship, awarded to distinguished academics in their field, will be held at Queen Mary University and Lancaster University to work collaboratively with international colleagues on environmental research.

Convocation

  • I had the pleasure of presiding at four convocation ceremonies at the end of last week for graduates in Medicine, Business, Public Administration, Industrial Relations and Urban and Regional Planning. It is truly inspirational to see our graduates and their families celebrate this important milestone in their lives.

Two honorary doctorates were awarded:

  • a DSc to Dr. Alan Bernstein, founding president of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and an internationally renowned biomedical scientist; and
  • an LLD to Dame Pamela Gordon Banks, Bermuda’s youngest and first female premier who also has an EMBA from Queen’s. Dame Pamela’s investiture by Queen Elizabeth II as Dame Commander of the British Empire was made in recognition of her exemplary public service.

Government Update 

  • The Provincial budget is expected to pass through the legislature with the support of the NDP who were able to secure significant concessions from the government providing a measure of stability at Queen’s Park for the time being.
  • As a result of recent conversations with Minister Duguid, we now know more about a series of roundtables being held for the postsecondary education sector this summer with representation from government, universities and colleges. 
  • These roundtables are being formed to get resolution on several issues that have been unresolved for some time such as credit transfer and online learning where a lot of groundwork has already been laid.  
  • The Minister is committed to a collegial process but is keen to see progress made early and quickly.
  • It is expected that discussions will be at a high level between institutional leaders who will then report back to their colleagues. 
  • The roundtables will be focused and action oriented with 8-10 representatives from the sector and additional government representatives in attendance.
  • Minister Duguid did indicate that the government had set aside $45 million for a new productivity and innovation fund that would be targeted towards helping institutions investigate or implement proven measures designed to enhance productivity and reduce long-term costs.

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