Fortier addresses Quebec Charter of Values, university rankings, and frosh
In her opening remarks at the Sept. 18 Senate meeting, Fortier addressed the impact of the Quebec Charter of Values at McGill and the implications of two recently-released university rankings.
Regarding the charter, Fortier re-stated the university’s commitment to creating and maintaining an inclusive community. She said no concrete decisions have been made about McGill’s course of action, specifically in regards to the part of the charter that would ban professors from wearing visible signs of religion.
“I view this as a period of consultation,” she said. “It’s too early to see exactly where we’ll be. At the appropriate time, we’ll take action where required.”
Fortier commented on McGill’s recent downward movement in the QS Rankings and upward movement in the Shanghai Rankings. She cautioned against changing the university too drastically in response to the data.
“One of the negative effects of the rankings is to move all of us [universities] into becoming clones of one another—the uniqueness of what we are makes us special,” she said. “There are some parts of the rankings where, for us, we would lose some of the great qualities of McGill if we were to move in any direction.”
Fortier also addressed frosh week, in light of occurrences at other Canadian universities this year that have received negative media attention for disrespectful or intolerant activities during frosh. Fortier said that McGill’s Orientation Week was well-received by new students and their parents this year.
“We need to pay attention to the climate on our campus. For the most part, Orientation Week went well but there are some events that were not entirely positive,” Fortier said.
Fortier went on to say that new Deputy Provost Ollivier Dyens is working to improve McGill’s Orientation Week for next year.
MUHC to move to Glen Campus
Senator Adam Bouchard asked whether the research and graduation time of students working in the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) will be delayed by the centre’s move to Glen Campus, which is expected to be completed by September 2014.
David Eidelman, vice-principal (Health Affairs) and dean of the Faculty of Medicine, said that a company has been hired to complete the move. Other than delays during the two weeks of moving time, Eidelman said he expects a smooth transition.
“Most [students] will be moving into superior facilities from what they have,” Eidelman said. “Even though the short-term hit is real, the long-term benefit […] will improve the graduate experience.”
The move is part of the $2,355 billion Re-development Project which consolidates the Montreal Children’s Hospital, the Royal Victoria Hospital, and the Research Institute of the MUHC into one location at Glen Campus, located near Décarie Boulevard and Rue Saint-Jacques.
Marc Weinstein, vice-principal (Development and Alumni Relations), announced that McGill’s History in the Making philanthropy campaign raised over $1 billion since its launch in 2007.
“[This has been] by far the most successful campaign that McGill has ever taken, and one of the shortest ones in terms of timeframe compared to other universities,” Weinstein said.
The donations received through the campaign are all dedicated to specific projects including student aid and advising, research, and faculty support.