University of Lethbridge President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Mike Mahon discusses the latest issues and events at the U of L
There’s no denying that it has been a very difficult last few weeks for our community.
I want to extend personally my sincere condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of Cameron Stea and Rob Kern, dedicated staff members who we lost in the last week. We are all thinking of you during this difficult time.
When you think about it, the University is much more than our place of work, but rather it is a small community. When we have our full complement of students on campus, our population is greater than 10,000, which is essentially a small southern Alberta town. It is not unexpected then when we are met with challenging circumstances as we have seen in the last week.
I urge anyone who is having difficulty dealing with the happenings of the last few days to talk to your co-workers or access the services available through the Employee and Family Assistance Program at 1-800-663-1142.
Despite all we’ve been through, there are some very positive things taking place here on campus, including the upcoming Spring 2016 Convocation, the excitement around finally breaking ground on the Destination Project and the celebration of some of our outstanding staff and faculty.
We recently presented an excellent group of people with the annual President’s Awards for Service Excellence. I often remark to others how committed our faculty and staff are and these annual awards are one way I can say thank you to a select few. Congratulations to this year’s winners, Rosemary Howard, Aaron Tamayose, Jadranka Smiljanec and the staff of the Teaching Centre. You can read more in their citations on UNews.
I want to thank the staff in Housing Services for quickly readying five suites to host evacuees from the Fort McMurray wildfire. The University put its best foot forward in 2013 and served as an outstanding host to more than 250 people displaced during the High River flood event and we are once again ready to help out. I’m extremely proud of how welcoming our community is and I expect the evacuees who do make their way to campus will take great comfort in being amongst our U of L family.
Late last year, the Government of Alberta passed the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act, which requires the disclosure of public sector employees (including those working at post-secondary institutions) who earn over $125,000 per year. The U of L is working towards implementing this new legal requirement and will inform affected employees of the process and timelines of disclosure as well as potential impacts and exclusions. More information will be posted on the University website. Also, a letter has been sent to all affected employees.
Spring 2016 Convocation takes place June 2-3 and I urge everyone who is on campus to come down to the 1st Choice Savings Centre to take in some part of the ceremonies. If you have never been a part of Convocation, you really should take some time to experience the event, as there is a certain energy associated that is unique to anything we do here. We can all take pride in the roles we play in helping our students realize their aspirations and Convocation is a truly memorable celebration each and every year.
Lastly, I want you to save the date for the Destination Project groundbreaking ceremony. Unfortunately, the previous date of May 24 had to be postponed and we don’t yet have another date confirmed by the provincial government, but keep in mind we will be celebrating the beginning of construction on this transformational project soon. The future of the University will be forever altered by this project and we all have the opportunity to witness the first shovels in the ground. I urge you to come out to take part in history.