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Queen's University

Principal Woolf’s Report to the University Senate

March 19, 2013

Speaking notes

Check against delivery

We have a long agenda in front of us today and so my remarks will be very brief.

First of all I would like to let all of you know how pleased I am to have been given the opportunity to lead this great university through a second term. I look forward to continuing to promote Queen’s at home, provincially, nationally and around the world.  The accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff and alumni provide compelling evidence of the quality education and experience, scholarship and research that we foster at Queen’s.  I will be telling our story as I strive to lead this institution to greater heights and put us on the path to a sustainable future.

Congratulations due:

There are three particular matters to which I would like to draw Senate’s attention.

  • Queen’s professor and former President of the National Science and Engineering Research Council, Dr. Suzanne Fortier, has been appointed as the next Principal of McGill University. Suzanne’s long service to Queen’s included a highly successful academic career and her appointments as Vice-Principal (Research) and Vice-Principal (Academic).
  • Professor Don Stuart from the Faculty of Law is the 2012 recipient of the G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal from the Criminal Lawyers’ Association of Canada.
  • Dr. Chris Simpson, Queen’s professor and Head of Cardiology at KGH/Hotel Dieu has been named President-elect of the Canadian Medical Association. 

Government Update 

With continued concern regarding the global economic situation, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is expected to deliver another austerity budget later this week.  Both AUCC and the U15 group of research-intensive universities have been advocating for enhanced funding to the granting councils for basic research and research infrastructure as well as for additional graduate scholarships and for mechanisms to promote international research collaborations.  While there is some indication that our messages have been heard, we do not expect there to be significant influxes of new funding this year.

International Strategy and Strategic Framework

Later today, Provost Harrison will introduce an International Implementation Plan. This item was deferred from the last Senate meeting and was presented to the Board of Trustees at their meeting at the beginning of the month.  As I mentioned at the last meeting, this implementation plan is anchored in the Academic and Strategic Research Plans that have already been endorsed by Senate.

Provost Harrison will also be presenting a strategic framework by which we can measure progress against institutional goals.

University Council Reform

I would like to remind Senators again that voting on a new mandate for University Council will be occurring during the first week of April and I encourage you to participate in the vote.  Please direct any questions that you have on this matter to Celia Russell, Secretary of University Council, in the Secretariat.

End of the School Year

Finally with the end of classes fast approaching (April 5th ) I would like to wish students all the best as they finish their classes for the year, complete those final assignments, essays and projects, and undertake their final examinations.

Board of Trustees/Senate Retreat Update

As I have previously indicated, we will be proceeding to hold a Board/Senate retreat each year in the Fall.

I propose that the subject of the retreat for next year be long-term planning for Queen’s.

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