President's Report 2010

Page 1

2 0 1 0 P r e s i d e n t ’s R e p o r t

Since joining the university in September 2007, Dr. Max Blouw has encouraged the Laurier community to take stock of its past, to understand its present and to plan for a successful future.

Inspiring lives... Universities in Canada and abroad are in a period of remarkable transition. A range of social, technological and economic forces are rapidly reshaping the very ways in which we teach, learn and research. At Wilfrid Laurier University, we are committed to embracing the opportunities that exist in times of change, and we do so with a clear understanding of the university’s strengths, values and traditions. This understanding was enriched by the Envisioning Laurier process, a consultative research initiative conducted in 2008-09 to determine what our university is today and what it should aspire to be in future. Our findings made it clear that Laurier is an extraordinary institution with a unique ability to combine teaching and research excellence with a vibrant sense of community and social engagement. The Envisioning Laurier research was the basis for developing a statement of Values, Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles for the university. It also helped us craft an institutional proposition: Inspiring lives of leadership and purpose. This short, evocative statement captures the essence of what Laurier is and what distinguishes it from other universities. As such, it provides a powerful launch pad for promoting the university and telling the Laurier story. The pages ahead introduce that story while providing an update on key developments within the university. I think you will agree that Laurier is an exceptional community with a remarkable story to tell. As we approach the university’s centennial in 2011, I invite you to join us in celebrating the Laurier story and sharing it with the world.

Dr. Max Blouw President and Vice-Chancellor Wilfrid Laurier University

of leadership and purpose

As a child, Ayiko Solomon (BA ’08) endured unspeakable horrors during the civil war in Uganda. Shaped by that experience, and inspired by his studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, he founded Peace for All International, a non-profit agency dedicated to building peace, promoting healing and creating sustainable development in northern Uganda and Nepal.

Inspired... Dr. Quincy Almeida For Quincy Almeida, research isn’t just about discovery — it’s about making a difference for those suffering with movement disorders. In 2005, Almeida opened the Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation Centre to help people suffering from diseases such as Parkinson’s. A primary objective of the centre, which was recently renamed the Sun Life Financial MDRC in recognition of the company’s support, is to understand brain dysfunction associated with several movement disorders, and then translate this knowledge into the development of rehabilitation strategies and novel inventions that have the potential to improve patients’ movement control. Many of Almeida’s patients have experienced remarkable results, and his ongoing research means that other people struggling with Parkinson’s will be able to enjoy more active and fulfilling lives.

• Joanna Harries Joanna Harries (BBA ‘03,

• Bharati Sethi Social work PhD student

MBA ’08) first learned about “social enterprise”

Bharati Sethi came to Canada from India in

during her business studies at Laurier. She went

1994. Inspired by her own struggle to become

on to a successful career in consumer products,

a Canadian citizen, she is now helping others

but remained passionate about supporting

through her community-based research on

social causes through business. Today, Harries is

immigrant issues. Her commitment to social

director of international expansion for Endeavor

justice has earned her several prestigious

Global, a not-for-profit that seeks to strengthen

awards, including a Hilary M. Weston

emerging economies by supporting high-impact

Scholarship and a Vanier Canada Graduate



to improve lives

Laurier recently opened an office in the heart of Toronto to transform and promote the university’s presence in Canada’s largest city. The office, on the main floor of the Exchange Tower, serves the many alumni and co-op students who live and work in Toronto. It also helps us deliver innovative programs, such as our weekend-format MBA, which has operated in Toronto for the past 12 years.

Inspired... PARTNERING FOR SUCCESS When Laurier opened its Brantford campus in 1999, few could have predicted the transformative impact it would have on both the city and the university. Yet this unique partnership has revived an ailing downtown, created post-secondary opportunities for thousands of students, and enabled Laurier to develop innovative new programs. What began with 39 students and one building has grown to nearly 2,400 students in 19 buildings. And the demand continues. Laurier Brantford is in the midst of building a $39.9-million Research and Academic Centre with the help of federal and provincial Knowledge Infrastructure funding. Additional projects are in the planning stages, including the redevelopment of two recently acquired properties. Projections suggest the Brantford campus could serve 4,000 students within five years. The success of Laurier Brantford highlights the role of a multi-campus strategy in transforming a city and enabling a community-minded university such as Laurier to “grow big while staying small.”

• Kitchener campus Laurier’s Lyle S.

• Milton campus As one of the fastest-

Hallman Faculty of Social Work couldn’t be

growing communities in Canada, Milton is

closer to the subject at hand. Situated in a

keen to attract a university. The town, just

beautifully renovated former high school in

west of Toronto, has invited Laurier to explore

downtown Kitchener, students and faculty

the potential for opening a campus there. An

frequently interact with the people who

innovative campus in Milton could attract the

benefit most from their knowledge and

funding needed to develop new programming

research. In 2009, the Faculty shared a

that would be accessible to all Laurier students

community leadership award for collaborating

via state-of-the-art technology, while helping

with local agencies to provide social work

the province satisfy the growing demand for

training to new Canadians.

university access in the Greater Toronto Area.

to transform

Learning, teaching and research are at the heart of a university. But it’s the people, culture and energy of the institution that really inspires students and faculty. To this end, we recently developed a fresh Academic Plan that builds on our tradition of teaching and research excellence and reflects the value Laurier places on inspiring lives of leadership and purpose.

Inspired... Master Plan The demand for post-secondary education in Ontario, and Laurier’s consistently strong reputation among students, has led to a dramatic expansion of the university over the past decade. To prepare for growth and renewal in a strategic way, the university has developed a campus master plan to guide the physical development of Laurier’s two largest campuses. In Waterloo, where the campus is largely contained to one city block, we are striving to make efficient use of the existing footprint while preserving and developing open spaces. In Brantford, where the campus is integrated into the downtown, we are pursuing a mix of new developments and adaptive reuse of heritage buildings. For both campuses, we are striving to ensure that the physical environment inspires and supports the social engagement and community involvement that’s at the heart of the Laurier experience.

• Laurier Brantford’s Research and

• Sustainability Inspired by the leadership

Academic Centre The new Research

shown by students, Laurier established a

and Academic Centre is part of a strategy

Sustainability Policy in 2009 that encourages

to significantly increase enrolment and

the university to continuously improve its

research capability at Laurier’s Brantford

environmental performance. Since then, Laurier

campus. Scheduled to open in fall 2010, the

has initiated an energy conservation program,

building is designed to achieve Leadership

hired a full-time sustainability coordinator,

in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

supported alternative transportation options,

silver certification, in keeping with Laurier

and increased the opportunities for students,

Brantford’s reputation for innovation and

staff and faculty to reduce, reuse and recycle.


to look forward

Chongqing is one of the most dynamic regions in China, a country that has become a major player in the global economy and in postsecondary education. Laurier was the first Canadian university to establish an office in southwest China, and our leadership recently inspired the City of Waterloo to enter a “Friendship City Partnership� with Chongqing that will benefit both Laurier and the surrounding community.

Inspired... Destination for International Studies The community of Waterloo has become a global centre for studies in international affairs, and Laurier is playing a leadership role in building that reputation. The university is a founding partner in the Balsillie School of International Affairs, a unique academic centre involving Laurier, the University of Waterloo and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). In 2008, Laurier was awarded a second five-year term as host institution for the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), an international association focused on multilateral relations and global governance. Laurier is also home to the Laurier Centre for Global Relations, whose director — alumnus Paul Heinbecker — is a former ambassador and permanent representative of Canada to the UN. A number of Laurier faculty members have cross-appointments to CIGI and the Balsillie School, and many Laurier students benefit from scholarships and research opportunities associated with these two world-class centres.

• International experience As Laurier’s

• International development Many

mission statement says, the university

in the Laurier community are driven by a

“challenges people to become engaged and

desire to make a positive difference in the

aware citizens of an increasingly complex

world. Alternative Reading Week is a great

world.” We also value experiential learning.

example. Teams of students, staff and faculty

That’s why we have exchange agreements

devote their winter break to helping others,

with universities in more than 20 countries,

from restoring a school for special-needs

providing students and faculty with the

children in Mexico to helping clean up in the

opportunity to enrich their lives by studying

aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

and working abroad.

to think globally

Chemistry professor Dr. Hind Al-Abadleh is helping the world understand how to remove pollutants from contaminated water. The award-winning researcher studies “environmental interfaces,� such as how organic arsenics interact with soil in the environment. Her findings are influencing the development of pollutantremoval technologies, which will benefit communities around the globe.

Inspired... RESEARCH Research is fundamental to what we do at Laurier — it enhances teaching excellence and inspires our faculty and students with a passion to discover. To align with Laurier’s core strengths and values, we have identified five areas of research strength: globalization and governance; business, economics and quantitative analysis; environmental studies; health and well-being; and social analysis and social justice. Laurier’s commitment to research is evident in the year-over-year growth of our research portfolio, which has more than doubled since 2000. The university now has 15 research-chair positions and 21 research centres and institutes. We also rank high in our class in national faculty awards and for the number and value of research grants we receive. However, our most important research asset is our researchers themselves. They challenge one another to explore their fields in new and innovative ways. In the process, they inspire lives of leadership and purpose in our students and the broader community.

• Dr. Sukhvinder Singh Obhi Dr. Sukhvinder

• Dr. Maurice Kugler Dr. Maurice Kugler,

Singh Obhi’s innovative research in cognitive

CIGI Chair in International Public Policy in

neuroscience has a wide variety of aims and

Laurier’s Department of Economics, explores

applications, from assisting people with brain

how global market integration affects

disorders to understanding consciousness and

economic growth in the world’s poorer regions

human-action planning. The award-winning

and nations. The results of his research,

researcher is an active member of Laurier’s

conducted through his concurrent positions

Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience.

at Laurier and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), has significant influence on international development policy.

to make a difference

Laurier swimmer Whitney Rich, a four-time provincial all-star, is back in familiar waters thanks to a special community partnership to fund the $4.2-million renovation of Laurier’s Olympic-size pool. Financial supporters included students, community swim clubs, federal and provincial governments, area municipalities, and the university.

Inspired... ATHLETICS AND LEADERSHIP The Laurier Golden Hawks have a proud tradition of excellence in athletics. In 2008-09, our varsity teams earned national championships in women’s curling and cheerleading, and provincial titles in women’s hockey, women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s soccer. Our athletes also excel and lead by example in other areas. Through Healthy Hawk Days, student-athletes run gym classes at elementary schools and speak to students about healthy living habits; the Laurier Lettermen’s Club hosts an annual sports play-day for more than 250 elementary school children; and the Women’s Athletic Association offers leadership and participation opportunities to female Laurier students. As well, many of our studentathletes volunteer with minor sport teams as coaches, referees and mentors. At Laurier, we have a tradition of inspiring lives of leadership and purpose through athletics and recreation. • Outstanding WomEn of Laurier

• Athletes and academics Laurier

The Outstanding Women of Laurier

values a well-rounded university experience,

Award recognizes a female student who

and many of our varsity athletes excel at

combines athletic and academic success

both sports and academics. In the 2008-09

with a commitment to leadership and young

season, 45 Laurier student-athletes were

athletes. Our 2009 winner was Hollie Nicol,

recognized as academic all-stars by their

a varsity curler who won two national

respective interuniversity leagues, at both

championships and a silver medal at the

the national and provincial levels. Many of

World Universiade games in Harbin, China.

our varsity athletes go on to leadership roles

Nicol also volunteered with the Special

in their careers and communities.

Olympics, instructing wheelchair curlers.

by sport

In his second year at Laurier, Greg Overholt founded Laurier SOS (Students Offering Support), a charity to help early-year students prepare for exams. Students pay for a peer-led session, with proceeds going to fund schools in developing countries. Laurier SOS has raised more than $200,000 to date and has grown into a national charity operating at 15 universities across Canada.

Inspired... A REAL COMMUNITY Laurier offers its students a small-university experience with big-university opportunities. There is a genuine sense of community on our four campuses, a quality that our students, faculty, staff, and alumni are keen to preserve. In fact, many of our alumni tell us that our close-knit feel is what clinched their decision to attend Laurier in the first place. Laurier students are passionate about volunteerism, leadership and extra-curricular involvement. We support that passion in many ways, from our innovative Student Leadership Centre to our community service-learning programs, which combine academic course work with volunteer placements in the surrounding community. As well, there are more than 100 student clubs on the Waterloo campus alone, giving students plenty of opportunities to get involved, engage in healthy debate, and assume leadership roles within the university.

• Co-curricular record Laurier was the

• Student Leadership Centre Laurier’s

first Canadian university to formally recognize

Student Leadership Centre encourages and

the educational and career benefits of

enables students to get involved in university

volunteer and leadership activities by offering

life and the broader community. Guided

a co-curricular record — an official chronicle

by the philosophy that leadership is about

of a student’s involvement in campus

getting involved, and that all students have the

activities. Since Laurier introduced it in 2004,

capacity to make meaningful contributions,

more than 4,800 students have completed a

the centre offers a wide range of leadership

co-curricular record.

training, activities and volunteer opportunities.

to get involved

The Carnegie building, a landmark in Brantford for more than 100 years, was acquired by Laurier as part of the initial partnership to establish a campus in the city. Partnerships are essential for keeping the entire university strong and vibrant, and Laurier values the supportive relationships that sustain all its campuses.

Inspired... Giving As Laurier approaches its 100th anniversary in 2011, it is clear that our longevity and success is built on the generosity of an exceptional community of alumni, students, staff, faculty and friends. Contributions take many forms, from financial donations to volunteer work on university committees. Such commitments of time and money are invaluable. They enable Laurier to reach beyond its most basic responsibilities and provide the facilities, expertise and opportunities that truly inspire lives of leadership and purpose. In 2009, we received $7.5 million from a wide variety of individual donors and organizations. These gifts ranged from a record-breaking $1.3 million in annual giving to more than $1.8 million in estate gifts. Every contribution helps strengthen the university’s commitment to excellence and to the unique community that is Laurier. For this we thank you.

to give

By the numbers

Full-time Student Enrolment by Category

Degrees and Diplomas Issued

(head count)

Undergraduate degrees and diplomas

Undergraduate full-time Graduate full-time TOTAL









Graduate degrees and diplomas TOTAL













Note: Student enrolment is based on fall term head count as of November 1 Graduate student enrolment includes students from the affiliated Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

Staff and Faculty

Full-time Undergraduate Student Enrolment by Faculty/School (2009-10 head count)



Faculty of Arts



School of Business & Economics



Faculty of Science



Laurier Brantford



Faculty of Music



Dual Majors



Faculty of Education



Full-time Graduate Student Enrolment by Faculty/School (2009-10 head count)

Permanent staff, non-faculty TOTAL





Numbers to NOTE In the 2008-09 year, our sponsored research income rose to $9.124M from $8.347M in 2007-08.


Faculty of Social Work


Faculty of Arts


School of Business & Economics


Faculty of Science






To view the university’s audited financial statements, visit

Full-time faculty

As of April 1, 2010, the total number of Laurier alumni reached 71,110. Laurier alumni can be found in 88 countries.

A reputation for excellence

At Laurier, we strive to provide students with an exceptional university experience by combining academic excellence with a wide range of outstanding extra-curricular opportunities. The result? Laurier students consistently rank their experience ahead of Ontario, Canada and U.S. averages in independent surveys. Percentage of students who evaluated their educational experiences as excellent or good (2008 NSSE)



Laurier ranks many 90% above the Ontario 100 100 and overall averages inOntario Canada categories of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), 86% 80 American-based study that80asks first-year and senior students an 79% 79% 78% at60more than 700 institutions in about their 60 Canada and the U.S.77% undergraduate experience. Highlights from the latest NSSE: 40 40 Percentage of students who evaluated their 20 educational experiences as20excellent or good (2008 NSSE)

0 100


90% First-year












Senior-year 86%

Ontario Canada

Maclean’s Once again Laurier was the leader in its category in the Maclean’s 2009 reputational survey of Canadian high-school principals and guidance counselors, heads of national and regional organizations, university officials, CEOs and corporate recruiters: Among Top 3 in Canada for overall reputation in the Primarily Undergraduate category. No. 1 in Ontario in the Primarily Undergraduate category for:

Highest quality



Average entering grade Proportion of students who graduate Student retention




The Globe and Mail

Percentage of students who would attend the same institution again (2008 NSSE) Laurier

100 80




84% 80





20 0 100 80 60

Ontario Canada

83% 77%


Percentage of students who would attend the 20 same institution again (2008 NSSE) Laurier

89% First-year 84%


84% 80 60

Laurier received high marks in The Globe and Mail’s 2010 Canadian University Report, which is based on a survey of undergraduate students at 53 universities across Canada.


Ontario Canada

83% 77%


Faculty member’s subject knowledge


Overall university atmosphere


Overall quality of education


Satisfaction with university experience


WILFRID LAURIER UNIVERSITY 75 University Avenue West | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3C5 73 George Street | Brantford, Ontario, Canada N3T 2Y3 120 Duke Street West | Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2H 3W8 130 King Steet West |Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5X 1C9