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Algoma University Shifts into Final Stages of Strategic Plan Development

Major initiatives move forward while Board of Governors prepares for approval of the 2023-24 Operating Budget

(BRAMPTON/SAULT STE. MARIE/TIMMINS: March 30, 2023): As Algoma University moves further into the final stages of creating its next three-year Strategic Plan, slated for approval in June, the Algoma University Board of Governors convened earlier today to learn more about the continued progress being made on current strategic priorities as well as efforts to finalize the 2023-24 operating budget. 

During the presentation of the March 2023 President’s Report, President and Vice-Chancellor Asima Vezina highlighted a number of key strategic initiatives currently underway, including continued planning for the introduction of new graduate programs this fall, the Mukwa Waakaa’igan project, as well as planning for the establishment of a Mental Health and Addictions Research and Training Institute. “As we write the next chapter of this University’s history, I predict it will be one steeped in our Special Mission and marked by creativity, expanding partnerships and community impact,” stated President Vezina. 

With the recent Senate approval of two Master’s degrees, one in Biology and the other in Computer Science, Algoma continues to prepare for the inaugural graduate student intake this Fall. Both programs will foster increased collaboration between academic, government, industry, and community while producing highly-skilled graduates with the critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills required to expand and advance knowledge in their respective disciplines. The focus areas are critical in supporting diversified local and regional economies served by Algoma while supporting organizations and companies that require access to highly skilled talent, such as environmental research, software development, project management and data analytics.

The VP of Finance and Operations informed the Board that the Mukwa Waakaa’igan project team is working through the final stages of design completion. As part of Algoma’s ongoing commitment to truth, healing, and reconciliation, this project is incredibly important to the University, the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre, the Survivor community and other communities. The building is envisioned to expand on the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre’s prominence as a centre of excellence for the country, one that respects and builds on over four decades of work by the CSAA to preserve the history and significance of the site and residential school legacy while also focusing on the future and support for enhancing the University’s aspirations to build its capacity in cross-cultural and global Indigenous teaching, learning and research experiences.

In addition, the Board was apprised of efforts to finalize a collaborative agreement with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine University (NOSMU). The immediate goal of the partnership will be to move forward with implementing phase one of the Mental Health and Addictions Research and Training Institute. With hubs planned in Sault Ste. Marie and Brampton, similar discussions with potential partners such as Toronto Metropolitan University are underway. Through partnership and the expansion of health science programming on both campuses, Algoma hopes to support community needs through increased pathway opportunities to medical and health-related careers in both communities. 

Chancellor Mario Turco, who chaired the meeting in the Chair’s absence, expressed his gratitude as he reflected on the many positive impacts the University is having on the communities it serves. “This is an exciting time for Algoma University as it enters the next chapter of its evolution,” shared Turco. “It is wonderful to see the partnerships, the investments, the impact and the growth.“

The next meeting of the Algoma University Board of Governors is scheduled for April 27, 2023.

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