Headlines (Campus Updates)
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President’s midsummer update
Although we are in the middle of summer and many members of our community are enjoying well-deserved vacations, much has been happening at the university and I feel it is important to give you a brief update.
First, the university has submitted a five-year enrolment projection to the provincial government. Our projections show no net increase in provincially funded undergraduate students at the Waterloo campus but we do project an increase of 819 international students by 2015 for a total enrolment of 12,962 undergraduate students. The Brantford campus is expected to grow from approximately 2,000 students to 4,500 students over this period. Finally, we have submitted an estimate of 2,027 students by 2015 for a Milton campus. It remains uncertain whether a Milton campus will be part of the future of Laurier but ongoing discussions include the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) as well as the Town of Milton and the Region of Halton.
We have also submitted a 10-year capital plan to the provincial government. That plan includes four major projects for Laurier, as follows:
• Construction of a large new building at the St. Michael’s school site at the Waterloo campus to house the School of Business and Economics as well as the Office of Research, Graduate Studies, and the Department of Mathematics. Space that is currently in use by these units will be refurbished and re-purposed to make much-needed space available to other groups on the Waterloo campus.
• Construction of the first phase of a campus in Milton on the 150-acre parcel of land that the Town of Milton will donate to the university if the campus goes forward. The first phase of development would include library space, offices, classrooms, student services and other space necessary to begin development of a comprehensive campus.
• Construction of a learning commons and library building at the Brantford campus to meet the pressing need for such space.
• Construction of a learning commons and expansion of the Arts “C” wing with classrooms and offices at the Waterloo campus to add much-needed space for library and other learning infrastructure expansion.
Clearly, the enrolment projections and the capital plan requests are closely integrated. We expect that the information we have submitted will be incorporated into a new five-year plan for post-secondary education that is in development by MTCU. Also related, we have received a new multi-year accountability framework which reflects increased provincial interest in international students, online learning, space utilization, credit transfer, and graduation and retention rates.
Finally, the provincial government has invited public-sector unions and employers to discuss framework agreements for compensation going forward. We have been asked to suspend local negotiations while these discussions take place. The university will be in discussions with the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association (WLUFA) about the government's initiative and the commencement of negotiations for the renewal of the Contract Academic Staff (CAS) collective agreement.
I hope that everyone can take advantage of the marvellous summer we are experiencing to refresh and rejuvenate. Best wishes to all.
Dr. Max Blouw
President and Vice-Chancellor
Wilfrid Laurier University