Retirees' Association

Retirees Association of Queen's

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RAQ – Queen’s Academic Partnership Report – April 2008-2009


Members:    RAQ:   Arlene Aish                               University:  Patrick Deane 

                                George Brandie                                           Alistair MacLean 

                                John Meisel                                                  John Holmes                                   

                                Alison Morgan                                              Bob Silverman 

                                Joan Sherwood                                            Kathy O'Brien - secretary 

                                Henry Dinsdale - Chair

The document  An Academic Partnership of Retirees and Queen's University was approved at the April 7, 2008 meeting of RAQ Executive and Council and presented for discussion at the AGM, April 28, 2008. It provides the basis for an established relationship between RAQ and the university. Subsequently, a joint committee, with representatives from RAQ and the university administration, has met quarterly. Meetings are facilitated by the office of Dr. Patrick Deane, Vice-Principal Academic.

The Partnership document listed four objectives. Those objectives serve as guideposts for Partnership initiatives as follows:

1. Organizing events that enhance the visibility of the university through lectures and workshops

  • The Monday Morning Forums, organized by Dr. Agnes Herzberg, continue to attract prominent speakers who address a wide range of issues.
  • "RAQonteur, a series of forums designed to strengthen links between Queen's and Kingston." is the description of a new RAQ initiative. The objective of these forums is to provide a vehicle for presentation and discussion of topics of mutual interest to Queen's and the community. They will be held in community settings, one each spring and fall term. The first was held in Memorial Hall in Kingston City Hall, March 24, 2009. We were fortunate in having Chancellor David Dodge lead off the series. His topic was "A Difficult Period of Transition for the Global Economy: The View from Kingston." The evening was chaired by Dr. Brian Osborne. Attendees were asked to register beforehand and Memorial Hall was full with a very attentive audience. These events are organized by a RAQ planning committee, supported by Queen's Department of Development and facilitated by City Hall staff.

2. Enhancing the learning environment of the university

  • RAQ members have assisted the Student Awards Office by acting as Readers in the review and ranking of Major Entrance Awards.
  • QUFA is amenable to emeritus faculty chairing or being involved in co-supervision of examination committees. A list of RAQ members willing to chair these defenses has been made available to academic departments.

3. Enhancing the national and international reputation of the university

  • The Human History of Queen's Project is led by Alison Morgan in association with University Archives and supported by the university, through the office of the Vice-Principal Academic. It is designed to enhance the sense of community connections between staff, faculty and students and provide a background for the next installment of the history of Queen's. Students have provided 24 quality interviews with faculty and staff documenting the 1960s. They reported enjoyable interactions and acquiring new insights from those interviewed. Students were debriefed and transcribed interviews are available on the Archives website. Plans and financial support are in place to continue this year and enter the 1970s.

4. Other activities of mutual interest

  • A Retirement Community Working Group has been formed to assess the feasibility and make recommendations concerning university-affiliated housing. A number of models have been developed in North America for alumnae, retired faculty, staff and others. They range from condo complexes for residents 55 and older to continuing care retirement communities. The Working Group is chaired by Bob Silverman, Director, Special Projects, Office of the Vice-Principal Academic. John Gordon is the RAQ representative. Other members are Audrey Kaplan, Director of Campus Planning and Development, Mark Rosner, Vice-President, External for the Society of Graduate and Professional Students and Shelley Aylesworth-Spink, Director, Office of the School of Graduate Studies and Research.
  • A RAQ member, John Meisel, served as senior academic on VP Deane's committee reviewing the controversial intergroup Dialogue Pilot Program. Although he did so as an individual and not on behalf of RAQ, his involvement illustrates how RAQ members can be utilized in furthering the university's interest. RAQ can be helpful in identifying suitable personnel for such services and mobilizing them.

The Partnership is supported enthusiastically by the university and facilitated by the office of the Vice-Principal Academic. It will serve as a vehicle for regular dialogue between RAQ and university administration.    The activities listed above speak to the benefits, even after this short time, of establishing the RAQ/Queen's Academic Partnership.


Henry B. Dinsdale, Chair.