In a community address Tuesday, UWindsor president Alan Wildeman looked to the institution’s past and its future.
He noted that this year will mark the 50th anniversary of the University of Windsor and the 233rd anniversary of the transfer from the Wyandot nation to the Jesuit priests of the land on which the campus now stands.
“Every one of us is on the same path that the Wyandot chiefs and the Jesuits laid down 233 years ago,” Dr. Wildeman said. “And now, as it did then, that same path still stretches before us.”
He discussed a divergence between rising staffing levels and stagnant student enrolment, and committed to making the University a preferred destination for more students by focusing on the strategic priority of developing the undergraduate experience. He also pointed to facilities renewal, like the Centre for Engineering Innovation and the downtown campus sites, as a way to attract students and community support.
And Wildeman suggested that anchoring the strategic research plan on specific themes will help the public appreciate its relevance.
“Let’s be known as a place that is about healthy Great Lakes, viable and safe communities, sustainable industry and understanding borders,” he said. “I would bet in a blind test, if someone listed those themes, the University of Windsor would be the only institution you would pick as being the place where that particular set of grand challenges is being pursued.”
He concluded with an explanation of the event’s title, “The future is never what it used to be.”
“The reality we live in today is not the one that could have been accurately forecast two decades or five decades ago, but the values we share have not changed” said Wildeman. “With a focus on recruitment, new programs, transformative changes like this building we are in and the downtown campus, and more strategic communications about our strengths, (the challenges we face) will be managed to the best of our collective ability.”
The Centre for Teaching and Learning videotaped the address and will post it for viewing soon.