Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 28, No. 1

September 11, 2003


In brief

Aviation management gets $1 million grant

Concordia’s International Aviation Master’s of Business Administration (IAMBA) program has been awarded a grant of $1 million by the Quebec government for the development of e-learning.

The grant, made through Valorisation Recherche Québec, is to promote university-based technologies that can then be applied in an industry or business setting. Pierre Coutu, who spearheaded the project, said that the John Molson School of Business plans to develop short-term e-based programs and courses.

“At present, there are two versions of the IAMBA program, both leading to master’s degrees,” Coutu explained. “However, there is a demand for shorter programs, such as certificates and diplomas, even individual courses or a series of courses tailored to a company’s needs. And given our success with the GAMBA [distance version] of the program and our knowledge of aviation management education, I think we can make a significant contribution.

Coutu continued, “There are so few schools in the world that offer aviation management training, which makes e-learning technologies all the more important.

“For example, if someone needs accounting training, chances are excellent that they’ll find an appropriate course or program at a local college or university. For aviation management training it’s a completely different story. Often, students have to travel far distances to get the courses they want, which isn’'t always feasible.”

From July 20 to 22, the School played host for the second time in three years to the Aviation Management Education and Research Conference, which brought together academics and industry specialists from around the world to discuss issues in aviation management and research.

All sectors of the aviation industry were represented, including air navigation services, security, corporate fleet management and aviation law.

Presentations and panel discussions included such topics as airline competition, mergers and alliances, air travel safety, accelerated commercialization of air navigation services, as well as issues in airline marketing and aviation management pedagogy.

“Most of the problems facing the aviation industry today can be traced back to management practices,”said Triant Flouris, director of the International AMBA program and conference organizer. “If the industry is to survive and thrive, it has to change the way it conducts business.”

Kit Brennan play at Village West in Hudson

A play by Concordia teacher Kit Brennan is now on at the Village Theatre West, in Hudson.

Spring Planting won an award in Saskatchewan. Described as “a sensitive and uplifting slice of country life,” it is about a woman who is still grieving, after two years, for her late husband. When their 15-year-old daughter runs away, she is forced to face the future.

This is the fourth professional production of Spring Planting. It has previously been mounted by Ship's Company Theatre, in Parrsboro, N.S., the Western Canada Theatre Company, in Kamloops, B.C., and Theatre Orangeville, in Orangeville, Ont.

Brennan is an accomplished playwright. Another of her plays, Tiger’s Heart, a period drama about a real-life woman doctor who practised as a man, will be presented next May at Montreal’s Centaur Theatre under a director from Dublin’s famous Abbey Theatre. The Centraur mounted a production of Brennan’s Having several years ago.

Brennan mounted a production of Hunger Striking, which was about anorexia nervosa, several years ago at Concordia’s D.B. Clarke Theatre, and the play went on to be produced in 1999 at Toronto’s Theatre Passe-Muraille.

Her latest play, The Invisibility of Eileen, will have its premiere next March at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, in Ottawa.

As for the current production at the Village West (whose founding artistic director is alumna and former staff member Heather Markgraf-Lowe), Spring Planting opened Tuesday and runs until Sept. 28. For more information, please call 450-458-5361.

Financial analysts excel in exams

Students in the Goodman Institute of Investment Management program achieved an 88-per-cent pass rate in the Level I Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams, more than double the international average pass rate of 42 per cent.

The CFA exams were held simultaneously in 70 countries around the world on May 31 and June 1. The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program is a globally recognized standard for measuring the competence and integrity of financial analysts, with three levels of examination that measure a candidate's ability to apply the fundamental knowledge of investment principles at a professional level.

Nearly 50,000 candidates wrote Exam Level I, and the pass rate this year for all writers was actually two per cent lower than last year’s pass rate of 44 per cent “I am so proud of our students,” said Jerry Tomberlin, dean of the John Molson School of Business. “Right now, the CFA is the most coveted business designation.”

The Goodman Institute of Investment Management was launched in April 2001 and offers courses in both Montreal and Toronto. Pursuing either the MBA (Investment Management Option) or the Master’s in Investment Management prepares students to write all three levels of the CFA exam.

Filmmakers flourish

Four major prizes in the 34th Canadian Student Film Festival were were won by Concordia students.

The Norman McLaren Prize for best production, which carries a $1,000 prize, went to Électrinité, by Félix Lajeunesse. Best production in the fiction category was One Hot, Rotting Zombie Love Song, by Christophe Davidson. The best animation production was Naïma, by Alexandru Dragutescu, and the best documentary was Flight, by Nurjahan Akhlaq.

Lajeunesse, as top winner, will have his film shown at the Munich International Student Film Festival in November, and will go to Germany himself.

More than one-third of the films and videos in this competition—19 out of 56 — were made by students in the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and the Department of Communication Studies. The student festival runs parallel with the Montreal International Film Festival.

Cinema Professor Peter Rist, crowed in an e-mail: “Yet again we dominate the competition. Also, Masoud Raouf, who taught in the Film Animation program for a while and initiated an animation aesthetics course, had a film in the short film competition of the [main] Film Festival.

“Two of our former students, Peter Wellington and Michael P. Daley, have feature films in Panorama Canada, and some former students are represented in this program with shorts, including Myriam Bouchard and Geoffrey Uloth.”

Pettigrew pays flying visit

Students in the Global Aviation Master’s of Business Administration study online around the world, but they do get to Montreal occasionally, notably for their final exams. They were treated to a speech by a Canadian cabinet minister at their graduation ceremonies on Aug. 29, when the Hon. Pierre Pettigrew, Minister of International Trade, addressed students and special guests on “The Importance of Aviation to Montreal, Canada and a Globalized World.”

There were 12 GAMBA graduates this year, from airlines, air navigation services, the public and private sectors and the military in Europe, China, India and the Americas.

News@Concordia: a new source for campus information

Since Sept. 2, Concordians have had a comprehensive new source for campus news and information. The News@Concordia web site is produced by the Web Communications group of Internal Relations and Communications to complement the Concordia home page and the biweekly Concordia's Thursday Report newspaper.

Updated daily, News@Concordia provides Concordia faculty, staff, students and alumni with news, information, announcements, and emergency information. It also provides a showcase for Concordia's faculties, schools and departments, helping them get their message out to the community and linking to Concordia's many websites and publications. This is the place to find out practically everything going on at Concordia.

News@Concordia will let the university home page concentrate on its role as gateway to Concordia for outside visitors, especially prospective students. It will also permit Concordia's Thursday Report to put more emphasis on its in-depth features and articles.

Take a look at News@Concordia. Let us know what you think and, above all, send us your news and information. You can reach News@Concordia by clicking the "Feedback" link on the news page, or by e-mailing the editor, Simon Horn, at

Provost/Vice-Rector post advertised

Advertisements are now appearing across Canada for the post of Provost and Vice-Rector of Concordia, beginning June 1, 2004. The term is for five years, and is renewable once. The current Provost is Jack Lightstone, who is in his second term.

The full advertisement may be seen on the university’s web site, at

Golfers raised dough with doughnuts

The 10th annual Memorial Golf Tournament was held Aug. 13 at the Hemmingford Golf and Country Club. A record 275 people attended, and raised about $12,000 for scholarships.

Couch potatoes didn’t have to lift a golf club this year to contribute, thanks to Facilities Operations/Distribution Services. Staff sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts office to office, and provided an added incentive in the form of a restaurant voucher for finding a lucky golf all among the doughnuts.

Organizers want to thank the Rector’s Cabinet for their continued support, as well as the many corporate sponsors. A list of them and of the winners will go up on

The annual Alumni Golf Tournament, which also raises money for scholarships, was held Aug. 18 at Golf Le Mirage in Terrebonne.

Another popular annual tournament is that held by the alumni of the Executive MBA program. This year’s tourney was held June 2 at Le Golfe Chanteclerc Ste-Adèle and raised money for a literacy organization.

Homecoming 2003 puts accent on youth

Homecoming, the annual weekend aimed at alumni of Concordia and its founding institutions, has a fresh new look this year. A strong effort is being made to interest recent graduates of the university with such events as a networking network at the elegant Musée d’art contemporain (Sept. 30), a film festival of Concordia shorts, career workshops and a boisterous “survivor” challenge at Fort Angrignon (Oct. 2).

The featured speaker for the university’s annual blue-ribbon public lecture is one of Canada’s heroes, Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire (Ret.), who tells a compelling story of his valiant effort to prevent the 1994 Rwandan massacre. General Dallaire will give the Abitibi-Consolidated Lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 7 o’clock in the auditorium of the Hall Building. W. This event is free, but reservations are required.

The annual Alumni Awards will be presented on Thursday, Oct. 2. As always, Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 4, features a Stingers football game, and there will be an elegant dinner dance that evening at the Château Champlain Hotel.

The Department of Exercise Science will be celebrating its 30th anniversary (more in the next issue of CTR), and alumni chapters that will hold their own celebrations include TESL, Journalism, the John Molson School of Business and varsity athletes.

For more details about Homecoming 2003, Sept. 30 to Oct. 5, please consult

New Security Centre was built to keep us safe: Concordia now has an 811 emergency number

A new, centralized Security Centre has opened in the Hall Building lobby in time for the start of the fall term. The Centre is something director Jean Brisebois has been working toward since he took on his job two years ago.

The system was developed with the help of a specialized firm of experts and designed specifically for Concordia’s needs. In case you think that sounds expensive, Brisebois says that savings of about $450,000 a year should start being felt within two years.

“We had a choice between improving our technology and increasing staff,” Brisebois said, and ultimately, technology won out, for reasons of cost and effectiveness. “By the time all three new buildings are in operation, we will have to patrol 2.8 million square feet instead of the current 1.8 million square feet.”

The university chose to go with a state-of-the-art system of integrated cameras, access cards and security alarms that has already paid off. Brisebois said there were three recent incidents that show how well the system works.

At 3;20 a.m. one night, just after the bars closed, the cameras trained on the southeast corner of Bishop St. and de Maisonneuve Blvd. picked up a mugging by five assailants against two people, probably tourists. Another day, a woman was caught doing graffiti on the Hall Building. In both of these cases, the images helped police lay charges. On another occasion, the cameras ensured that an injured person on the street was helped speedily.

The Security Department has some new staff, the form of trained dispatchers, who analyze every call coming to Security from either campus, and assistant dispatchers, who sit at the service desks in the Hall Building and the Administration Building at Loyola.

Concordia now has an 811 emergency number that can be used for any situation. When in real distress, Brisebois said, callers should call 911 first, but in cases of secondary emergency, such as, say, the employee who recently was shoved by an aggressive student, the Montreal police are not likely to respond as promptly as a Concordia security guard.

Irish Studies launches $400,000 campaign

The Canadian Irish Studies Foundation, which raised $3.5 million from public and private sources to establish the Centre for Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia, has launched a capital campaign. The goal is an endowment of $400,000, which will finance additional courses.

The Centre currently offers six courses a year, with a total enrolment of 200 students, a lecture series, 13 fully funded scholarships for students in the program, and, beginning next year, an annual visiting professor from Ireland.

The head of the Foundation, Brian Gallery, said that it has accomplished much since its inception in 1995. “Now we are moving to the next level of development. We must offer more courses so that students can continue to learn about the rich Irish heritage in Ireland and in Canada.

“I am confident that all those who helped us so generously in the past will come to our assistance one more time, as we work with Concordia to consolidate and build on our achievements.”

Tom Hayden to speak

Tom Hayden, the former anti-Vietnam-War activist and U.S. senator, is a born-again Irishman who has just written a controversial book called Irish on the Inside: In Search of the Soul of Irish America. He will speak at Concordia on Monday, Sept. 22, on “The Case for Ethnic Identity in the Age of Globalization.” His public lecture will be at 8 p.m. in Room 407 of the Henry F. Hall Building.

On Oct. 9, the Centre for Canadian Irish Studies will sponsor a talk by former Irish prime minister (1981-86) Garret Fitzgerald. His topic is “The Changing Influence of Northern Ireland on Anglo-Irish Relations Since Independence.” This will be at 7 p.m. in the De Sève Cinema.

Extension of the fall semester registration deadline

Please note that the registration deadline for fall semester courses as well as fall/winter (two-term) courses has been extended to September 14 at 11:59 p.m. subject to the availability of space in courses. Note that the deadline to withdraw from a course with refund of tuition fees remains September 16