University Education

Proud of you, Sean! Proud of all our ‘Seans’

February 16, 2016

Someone asked me last week for one thing that I liked the most about UTM. There are a lot of things I love about our campus, and I was conscious that picking one in particular may well land me in some trouble. However, without hesitation, I said “the quality of our students”. By that I didn’t mean simply the marks that our students arrive with or how well they do academically once they are here. There’s a whole lot more to their “quality”. Read on…

Debunking the myths: More on the value of university education

July 10, 2014

I have expressed my frustration in the past about the popular tendency to beat up on the universities and university education without evidence, and often in the face of the facts pointing exactly in the opposite direction. Here is an article from AUCC President Paul Davidson that thoughtfully exposes the risks of short-term and short-sighted thinking and argues for a more evidence-based approach to plann

Welcome to another great year!

September 2, 2014

Wow, what a transformation! The campus is bustling again. Just a week ago, as I was on my habitual evening walk with our dog, the campus looked so empty. You could’ve had the ‘Honda Indy’ right here on the Outer Circle Road! Oh, wait a minute; someone in Dad’s blue Bimmer did think it was a racetrack! (Btw, I have your licence plate number…)

It is so nice to have you all back. The summers are wonderful but by the end of August, I’m always ready to get back to the usual action. There’s something special about seeing the excited – and sometimes a little nervous – faces of the new students. It is great to see the staff and student-volunteers helping the newcomers find their way or settle in, and profs getting ready for the classes.

Sustainability Management – The smarts of doing ‘business NOT as usual’

September 16, 2014

There’s much new this year on the campus: the Deerfield Hall we celebrated yesterday; the Innovation Complex to house the new Institute for Management and Innovation; Spiegel Hall reborn as the physics teaching lab; a fresh new look and expansion for the OPH cafeteria; and much more… These are the obvious visible signs of change, but there’s one development that has probably not been noticed as widely – the launch of our latest professional master’s program in Sustainability Management.

Earth’s climate is changing rapidly, and there’s now a consensus among informed minds that human activity is at the root of this change. The weight of scientific evidence also tells us that we have very little time left before the runaway consequences of these changes would likely escape our ability to control them. This is on top of the broader human-induced environmental degradation. We know that the vast majority of human impacts on the global environment originate directly or indirectly from our commercial activities. So we are faced with a conundrum: The lifestyle we so love is in mortal peril without a drastic shift in our ways, and yet changing those ways appears to be so hard, if not impossible, without destroying the system that gave us this lifestyle in the first place.

Introspection on the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre

December 8, 2014

Saturday marked the 25thanniversary of the massacre of 14 female engineering students at the Université de Montréal’s École Polytechnique. There are events that leave an indelible mark on your mind — you know exactly where you were, what you were doing, who you were with… In my life, there are few such events whose impression equals the still vivid and fresh

Happy holidays! We have much to celebrate!

December 19, 2014

Happy Holidays, UTM—I wish you a most wonderful time with your loved ones!

While you enjoy the festivities and good life during this special time of the year, I hope you won’t forget to also unplug every now and then, rest a bit and recharge. You all surely deserve some R&R after what seems like a year of non-stop torrent of activity. And do also take a moment to pat yourself on the back for your part in helping to make 2014 a banner year for UTM.

Citizenship — the Ceremony and the Significance

May 13, 2015

Hundreds of citizenship ceremonies are held annually across Canada, and 85 per cent of approximately 250,000 permanent residents admitted each year into this country eventually become citizens. That is the highest naturalization rate in the world. So why did we fuss so much about the ceremony held last week on the UTM campus?

Happy to be back and looking forward

January 11, 2016

What a delightful week #1 back at the office!

I have to admit; the six-month break was exactly what I needed after an intense decade in administration, first at Waterloo, then here since 2010. Super-humans as we like to think we are, we all need a diversion from the routine every now and then. For me the most urgent need was to find some time to reflect.

Subscribe to RSS - University Education