Campaigns, connections, and community: November in review

First and foremost, congratulations to our entire campus on our successful United Way Campaign!

Let me extend a big thank you to all of those who organized and donated to this excellent cause. As I mentioned in my message to campus on Wednesday, we surpassed our fundraising goal of $240,000, which represents about 5% of United Way’s fundraising goal for the entire region of Waterloo.

Like you, I am extremely proud of this excellent contribution we’ve made to our community. Congratulations to each and every one of you who contributed.

Our engagement with the broader community is based on our excellence and engagement here on campus, and to that end, yesterday I was delighted to host our fall-term Town Hall with Provost Geoff McBoyle.

Those of you in attendance or who viewed on webcast will already know that we discussed the implementation of the Strategic Plan, and how that process will look over the next several months. Thank you to all of you who participated in the Town Hall either as organizers, or audience members.

On Wednesday the 20th of November, I was very pleased to host  the “Towards Sustainable Partnerships: Canada’s Aboriginal Communities and the Resources Sector” summit with the University of Waterloo School of Environment.

This conference brought together aboriginal, political, and business leaders in Canada to discuss the challenges and opportunities of sustainable resource development as it pertains to the rights of Canada’s indigenous peoples. Former prime minister Paul Martin and former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Phil Fontaine, helped to lead the discussion. Thank you to SEED for facilitating such a positive event that beautifully showcased the University of Waterloo’s impact and leadership across the full spectrum of society.

Our group of eminent guests in November did not end with the SEED conference, however. The university welcomed Dr. Peretz Lavie, President of Israel’s Technion University, to campus on November 12. President Lavie gave an excellent overview about the history and strengths of the Technion during his guest lecture at the Accelerator Centre. I was delighted with his repeated comments about Technion’s many similarities to Waterloo, and about our two universities being on the leading edge of university innovation.

Our next special guest lecture promises to be outstanding, as well. On December 3, Colonel Chris Hadfield will be on campus to deliver a guest lecture and make himself available for a book signing. Details are availableon our events page. As you know, Colonel Hadfield has been appointedAdjunct Professor of Aviation at the University of Waterloo, and we are extremely proud that he’s joining our outstanding professoriate. I look forward to welcoming him to campus on a more permanent basis when he takes up his post in the Fall of 2014.

Outside the university, my administration and I continue to fully engage with our fellow stakeholders in the post-secondary education community to make progress on issues including differentiation, funding formulae, and at the federal level, research funding.

This month I led a delegation from the University of Waterloo to participate in the Council of Ontario Universities’ Queen’s Park Day, which was an excellent opportunity to engage elected officials and public servants at Queen’s Park in Toronto.  We had substantive conversations with Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) officials on a wide-range of issues, and I appreciate the level of engagement our delegation and the COU team demonstrated throughout the course of the day’s activities.

With the holidays fast approaching, I hope you are all looking forward to relaxing with family and friends over the Christmas season. As the university will be closed the last Friday of December, my end-of-month article will not be published.

I look forward to picking up these monthly updates in January, and I wish each and every one of you a happy and healthy holiday season and a wonderful new year!

Sincerely,

Feridun

Note to readers: from June, 2013 through 2015, the president’s monthly review was published in the Daily Bulletin, where this piece originally ran. As of January 2016, monthly reviews are published directly to this blog.

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