The university's ambitious plans for building projects on both campuses are moving steadily toward realization. A planning session held by the Rector's Advisory Group January 25 to 27 approved a master plan that is being presented to the City of Montreal at a series of meetings this month.
The plan was approved in principle last Friday by the real estate committee of the Board of Governors, and will be presented to the Board at large next Wednesday. While details can't be released until then, it puts the emphasis on flexibility and realism, while providing plenty of scope for growth.
"It's an expensive project, but we've identified substantial funding for each project on both campuses," said Garry Milton, Executive Director of the Rector's Cabinet.
The plans call for a new science complex and expanded athletic facilities at Loyola, plus, in the long term, new performing arts and increased residence spaces on the west-end campus. Downtown, there are plans for new buildings for Engineering and Computer Science, the visual arts and Commerce and Administration. The new buildings will be constructed on the Guy/Ste. Catherine and Guy/de Maisonneuve W. sites.
This was the second Rector's Advisory Group planning session to be held by the senior administration; the first took place last April. About half the time was taken up with the space plan, but improving decision-making and communications also came up for considerable discussion.
There was a feeling that in some cases, current decision-making structures have become cumbersome. The administrators also want to respond to a survey conducted recently by Office of Quality Programs that showed dissatisfaction and alienation in decision-making and overall institutional directions.
As a result, two key bodies will see their membership increased. Here is a list, with the new members indicated in italics:
Rector's Cabinet: Rector, Provost/Vice-Rector Research, Vice-Rector Institutional Relations and Secretary-General, Vice-Rector Services, Chief Financial Officer, Deans of the four Faculties, and Executive Director of the Rector's Cabinet (10 members).
Rector's Advisory Group: Rector, Provost/VRR, Vice-Rector IR & SG, Vice-Rector Services, Chief Financial Officer, Faculty Deans, Executive Director of the Rector's Cabinet, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Dean of Students, Director of Libraries, and the Directors/Executive Directors of IITS, Physical Resources, Advancement, Communications, Human Resources, Recruitment and the Registrar (20 members). Both groups will ordinarily meet once a month.
Among other plans to improve internal communication is the establishment of a regular communique from the Rector to the university community.
Two external members of the Board of Governors were invited to the planning session for the discussions on exploring new sources of revenue generation, and some specific proposals are being discussed.
"In general," Milton said, "they are telling us to move fast in order to take advantage of opportunities. There is a lot of competition out there, in both the public and the private sector."
- Barbara Black
Copyright 2000 Concordia's Thursday Report.