Community consultations provide perspective on University’s role

Mark LefebvreArtist and performer Mark Lefebvre (BFA 1988), founder of the Stilt Guys, makes a point during a discussion of Windsor’s cultural sector, Thursday in the Freed-Orman Centre.

A series of consultations with key members of the community has provided valuable insight into what role the University of Windsor can play in the development of the region, province and country, says Jeff Berryman, associate vice-president, academic.

His office held breakfast sessions with representatives of five broad sectors:

  • manufacturing, energy and technology;
  • business, banking, computing and law;
  • health, psychology and social work;
  • government, education and municipalities;
  • creative arts, culture and entertainment.

Organized by academic initiatives officer Beverley Hamilton, each session brought together 40 to 50 people to discuss questions of public concern — and how the University’s curriculum can better prepare its graduates to address these challenges.

“It was wonderful to hear from all these community leaders on the importance they place on our work,” says UWindsor president Alan Wildeman, who attended all five breakfasts. “Their contributions will aid us in shaping the future of our institution.”

Berryman notes that the final report compiling all the input is still a month from completion and will circulate first to participants, then to the UWindsor community. The consultations are part of a province-wide effort by the Council of Ontario Universities to measure public opinion on how universities can improve the lives of Ontarians.

Those interested in providing input directly to the Council of Ontario Universities consultation may complete its survey here, or e-mail a message to insights@ontariosuniversites.ca.