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Algoma University Board Receives Update on Strategic Plan Development

Stakeholder consultations to commence November 28

(BRAMPTON/SAULT STE. MARIE/TIMMINS, ON: November 24, 2022): This evening, the Algoma University Board of Governors received updates on several important initiatives underway to support the development of the University’s new strategic plan. The Board was also introduced to two newly hired Deans and the “Researcher of the Month,” Dr. Nirosha Murugan, a newly appointed Tier II Canada Research Chair in Tissue Biophysics. 

President and Vice-Chancellor Asima Vezina presented the November 2022 President’s Report highlighting the institution’s six main strategic priority areas, noting that Algoma’s focus on cross-cultural learning and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) serves as a key differentiator from many other schools across the globe. “Through their interactions, inside and outside of the classroom, our students and employees are experiencing what it means to authentically engage in cross-cultural teaching and learning. Thank you to those who are making extraordinary efforts to ensure we have opportunities to learn from and with each other in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment,” noted Vezina. 

The University administration shared their excitement in moving forward with the stakeholder consultation phase of its strategic plan development process. A range of activities, including focus groups, sharing circles, interviews and surveys, have been scheduled to commence starting November 28th,2022. It was explained that key internal and external stakeholders would have the opportunity to share feedback that would help to shape the new three-year plan, scheduled for finalization in 2023. The steering committee overseeing this exercise is Co-Chaired by Dr. Michele Piercy Normore, Vice-President, Academic and Research and Dr. Sean Meades, formerly the Executive Director of NORDIK and a faculty member of the Community Economic and Social Development program. 

The Board was introduced to the newest members of the leadership team, Dr. Michael Twiss, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Dr. William (Xiaojun) Wei, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics. Both individuals bring a wealth of leadership experience and expertise to their respective portfolios where they will support the continued development of undergraduate and new graduate programming as well as an expanded research agenda.

The accomplishments of Dr. Nirosha Murugan, an Assistant Professor in the Algoma University School of Life Sciences and the Environment (Biology Department) and Algoma’s “Researcher of the Month” were also recognized. Dr. Murugan was recently awarded a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Tissue Biophysics. She also successfully secured a Canada for Innovation – John R. Evans Leaders Fund (CFI-JELF) to support her research efforts. In 2021/22, Dr. Murugan was awarded an NSERC Discovery Grant and a New Frontiers Research Fund-Explore grant. She has recently returned from a research trip to Belgium, where she provided upper-year Biology and Psychology students with a valuable experiential learning and cross-cultural research opportunity. 

“As the fall term winds to a close, the updates provided to the Board, including the addition of new academic leaders and the accomplishments of Dr. Murugan, further exemplifies the upward trajectory of our institution,” noted Mike Moraca, Board Chair. “We look forward to further updates as our new strategic plan is formulated, a plan that will guide institutional efforts to ensure our continued success into the future.”

The next meeting of the Algoma University Board of Governors is scheduled for January 26, 2023.

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