Open Mike - January 2011
University of Lethbridge President Dr. Mike Mahon chats about what’s happening in the University community
The holiday season is now behind us and I want to welcome our staff, faculty and both new and returning students to campus for the Spring Semester.
The more people I speak with, the more it becomes clear what a prominent role the University of Lethbridge plays in the southern Alberta community. We are looked to as a leader, not only in education, but also in the areas of community living, culture, business and sport, and it is extremely important that we continue to serve as a hub of engagement for our community.
The U of L has a history of engaging its students, the community, our international partners and the First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations. It is my commitment to foster these relationships and assume a more deliberate approach as we further engage our community partners.
This past fall, I met with a variety of groups about the notion of engagement and how the University of Lethbridge promotes the concepts of citizenship, collaborative learning and discovery. It became apparent to me that the U of L is very active when it comes to reaching out to the community, but that it could develop a more strategic approach in its efforts.
There are already many successes on campus in terms of our students, staff and faculty leading the way when it comes to community engagement. The Rotaract Club has reached out both locally and beyond, as have Management Students’ Society initiatives, nursing students from the Faculty of Health Sciences, and faculty and staff through the United Way, the adopt a family Christmas program and other charitable measures. Our sports teams build relationships through camps and mentorship programs, and the recent Movember movement connected our athletes with the community on a whole different level.
We have many successes to point to, and now we want to build off of those experiences and bring a new focus to our community-based initiatives. That we have been able to become such a positive influence on so many levels is exemplary, and there can only be growth if we are able to create an overarching framework under which the engagement process can be co-ordinated.
To that end, I want to welcome two new members to our president’s office team who will play key roles in the future. Laurel Corbiere, the former director of the International Centre for Students, is assuming the position of senior advisor to the president, and will take on a leadership role in the community engagement process as it relates to the University’s strategic directions.
I also want to welcome Jodie Black, who was most recently the student retention co-ordinator in the Recruitment and Student Life office. She is taking on the position of university secretariat and will play an instrumental role in the development and management of policies and procedures of the University.
We are fortunate to be in a position to provide leadership for social and individual betterment of our community, whether that is at the local, provincial, national or international level. It is important, as responsible global citizens, we accept that charge.
For a full look at the January issue of the Legend, follow this link.