AVP Updates

June 30, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

It’s hard to believe that 22 months have elapsed since I came to StFX, and that this is my last day and last note to campus. I’ve appreciated so much being able to work with so many talented people in so many different roles, and the opportunity to meet so many of you. What we do collectively at StFX is important and very special, and it’s been an honour to be part of it.

Here are a few short updates.

Angus L MacDonald Library
I am pleased to announce the extended appointment of Ms. Susan Cameron as University Librarian (Interim) until June 30, 2015. Ms. Cameron is well-known to the community, and has brought her extensive experience as a professional librarian to this role over the past year as the library has undergone an extensive review process. A StFX alumnus, Susan obtained her B.A. in History and B.Ed. on our campus, then later acquired her M.L.I.S. degree from the University of Western Ontario. Susan has worked as a teacher, and took her first librarian role at CBU prior to coming back to StFX to work in our library in 1986. She has carried out several roles in the library, including University Librarian, and has a special interest in Gaelic issues. I hope you will join me in congratulating Susan on this extension of her appointment for the coming year.

The report of the Library Review Committee is due today, my last day at StFX. Accordingly, the report will be received officially by Dr. Wamsley when he arrives on campus in August. We expect that the report will provide guidance to the AVP, Senate Library Committee and library community on future directions that will ensure our library continues to be a great service and support to our learning community.

Rank and Tenure
As we did last year, we hosted a spring information session for faculty members who are preparing for an application for tenure or promotion. This session was oriented to the process side of the application and review process; other venues, such as events hosted through the year by the Faculty Development Committee, are more content-oriented. If you missed the session and have questions about process, please do not hesitate to contact my office, or to speak with an experienced member of the Rank & Tenure Committee.

Thank you to those who worked with their academic departments to develop departmental guidelines for promotion and tenure – all but one department has submitted. The Rank and Tenure Committee discussed these; they vary significantly in style and scope, and we hope that departments will continue to work on these to ensure they are as much help to their colleagues seeking tenure and promotion as possible. Making this effort to describe expectations around quality and quantity for creative and research work, service and teaching in specific fields can also be helpful to department evaluation committees, external reviewers and the Rank and Tenure Committee.

Agreements Signed with Community Colleges
Senate has updated regulations relating to transfer credit recognition that will enable us to create more effective pathways for diploma graduates to attain a StFX degree if they choose to continue their education. As a next step, StFX has signed Memoranda of Understanding with the Nova Scotia Community College and with Holland College in support of collaboration on articulated education program planning, research, recruitment and other initiatives.

Several department chairs are working with our office to develop laddering agreements that will enable qualified graduates of specific two-year diplomas from NSCC to enter into their third year at StFX and complete a degree by the end of four years. Recently two block transfer agreements were signed with Holland College in Prince Edward Island to facilitate the entry of their graduates into the Bachelor of Music and Honours Bachelor of Arts in Music programs. If your department is interested in participating in such an agreement, please contact Gina Sampson to learn more about how these can be structured within our academic regulations.

Ad hoc Committee on Copyright and Fair Dealing
As you know, our long-standing agreement with Access Copyright expires in December of this year. There has been much discussion over the past few years regarding the policies and procedures we need to adapt to become compliant with Fair Dealing legislation, including significant preparation on the part of our Librarians and an active Copyright committee that worked up until 2014. To prepare for Fair Dealing, a new ad hoc committee has recently been established to advise President’s Council and the broader campus community on the resources and efforts needed, including planning for information sessions. Committee members include Susan Cameron (Chair), Randy Peters, Ginger Fitt , Lise Brin, Carolyn Delorey, Rita Campbell, Chris Gilham, Diane Duff, John Blackwell, Andrew Kendall, Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier, Catherine Irving, Sharon Gregory, Stephen Finbow, Bhavik Parikh, Mari Roach and Hannah Stordy.

Updated Data for Planning
We’ve been working on updating enrolment and staffing data and this will be available to departments and faculties to use in their planning early next week. This information will also be accessible on the AVP website.

Parting Thoughts
Again, thank you for your support over the past two years – working at StFX has been a great experience because of the engagement and enthusiasm that faculty, staff and students give to this fine university.

Through the broad lens that I’m lucky enough to view the university through, I see it is critical to keep working on thoughtful planning to strengthen our offerings and make sure that we remain one of the best choices in Canada to enroll in a BA, BSc, BBA, BEd, Masters, or Certificate program, or just to take a few courses from. We have many collaborative and collegial governance structures, and we need to use those to plan together across domains and divisions to develop the new ideas that will enable the highest quality possible learning and scholarship in a way that is sustainable. This means re-thinking our programs, our departments, our faculties, and making sure we keep the best of our educational traditions and making them attractive, accessible and achievable to more students, including by design those with different backgrounds and interests than the students we’ve had in the past.

Best wishes,

Leslie A. MacLaren, Ph.D., P.Ag.
Academic Vice-President & Provost