It has almost been two months since Christopher Seguin passed away and I am writing to update you about how we are addressing the gaps his passing has created in two portfolios: Advancement and Government Relations.
With respect to Advancement, many of you have probably noticed the flurry of announcements and events that have taken place recently: the WolfPack Scholarship Breakfast, the Sherman Jen gift announcement, the annual Ken Lepin Graduate Studies and MBA Awards Ceremony, the Foundation Campaign Breakfast and the Teck Highland Valley Copper announcement. This testifies to the great Advancement team which is continuing to serve the students, faculty and staff of TRU.
We engaged a consultant, a highly experienced former vice-president advancement, who visited TRU and did an evaluation of our current situation. Not surprisingly, he gave top marks to the Advancement staff and complimented the deans on their enthusiastic commitment to fund raising. In the short term, Karen Gamracy, Director of Advancement is managing the team and is reporting directly to me. Karen and I are also communicating with and meeting key supporters and volunteers.
The relationship between the president and the vice-president advancement is key to success in Advancement; therefore, the intention is to appoint an interim vice-president advancement as soon as possible to serve for two years. That way, the new president will be able to decide how to fill the vice-president of advancement position. The consultant mentioned above and an executive search consultant are helping us identify experienced people who may be interested in joining us in this position.
I continue to lead government relations (provincial, federal and municipal) but now with more support from my executive team and the deans. The staff at the Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia have been very helpful. Meetings and ongoing communications are occurring with the Ministry of Advanced Education Skills and Training, and other relevant provincial ministries such as Education, Finance, Jobs Trade and Technology, Health and Environment and Climate Change Strategy. As with any new government, the meetings are an opportunity to familiarize ministers and deputy ministers with TRU and our agendas for development. Equally important is the opportunity to learn firsthand about the agendas of the ministers.
Media relations continue to be managed through Marketing and Communications, with input from the executive team, deans and with referrals to the Legal Office, Human Resources and appropriate advisors and internal experts.
The last few months have reminded us of the tremendous mark Christopher made at TRU. He continues to inspire us to serve others and to keep building a better and brighter future.
President and Vice-Chancellor