Refreshed for the push to exams
We are fortunate to have a mid-February respite and it seems to come at a perfect time in the academic cycle. Now, with the days getting longer and spring beckoning just around the corner, my hope is we all feel refreshed for the push to exams and the end of the semester.
I want to congratulate personally those students newly elected to posts in the Students’ Union. I commend you for taking the initiative to stand up for student office and assume a leadership role for the student population.
We have been very fortunate over the years to have some outstanding student leaders who have contributed to the U of L in so many positive ways. There has been a revolution occurring in student government over my time in academia, from a place where students essentially had no governance to now, where students are involved in every aspect of the University’s decision-making process. I much prefer our present situation.
You need only look at the makeup of the U of L’s Board of Governors to see how much influence students actually have on the institution’s priorities. The President of the Students’ Union, the President of the Graduate Students’ Association as well as a third, elected undergraduate student, are all on the Board of Governors, helping to shape policy.
Recently, it was announced that we have partnered with the University of Calgary in creating the Institute for Space Imaging Science (ISIS).
We are seeing much more cooperation between the province’s residential universities, something I like to call cooperation to compete. While competition does exist between the institutions, we have carved out our own unique identities and have three quite different universities. Given that, it is in our best interests to pursue collaborative initiatives that serve to benefit our institutions, both individually and collectively.
Speaking of growth, I had the opportunity to tour the Markin Hall construction site recently and was impressed thoroughly with the progress being made. This project is transforming and revitalizing this area of campus and once complete, promises to open a new chapter for both the School of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Management.
The U of L continues to be a hub of activity for the southern Alberta area. In the past few weeks, both the Alberta 55 Plus Winter Games and the South Western Alberta Teachers’ Convention Association (SWATCA) used the University as a centre for their activities.
The Winter Games were extremely well received and the feedback I’ve heard has been wonderful on the performance of our Global Drums group during the closing ceremonies.
It’s also great to see SWATCA back at the U of L where they truly belong. This is the second consecutive year their teachers’ convention has been held at the University after a prolonged absence. Given the fact a good majority of teachers in SWATCA graduated out of our own Faculty of Education programs, it’s only fitting they return each year to further their learning.
At the time of this writing, the Pronghorns men’s hockey team is readying to host a Canada West playoff series. It’s great to see the Horns back in the playoffs and it shows how this program, once a national champion, is back on the rise.
The spring calendar is once again full of opportunities for students, faculty and staff to make the most of their U of L experience. Whether it is a lecture, a concert, a workshop or one of the many Fine Arts productions on campus, I encourage people to sample from all that are available to them.
Never turn down the prospect of learning something new.