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Sculpture in riverfront parkInput from the public will be critical to the University of Windsor’s strategic planning process.

University seeking public input to develop strategic plan

The University of Windsor announced yesterday it is embarking upon a strategic planning process that will help reshape the institution as it moves forward in a time of global change and opportunity. Input from the public will be critical to helping inform the institution’s short- and long-term goals over the next five years.

The University began preliminary planning on the strategy — Aspire: Together for Tomorrow — in spring 2021, and over the next several months it will share a series of opportunities for the community to engage in discussions and consultations to set a foundation for the institution’s mission, vision, and strategic direction.

University of Windsor president Robert Gordon said the plan will be one of the University’s most important navigational tools. The final plan will establish benchmarks to measure progress, establish public accountability reporting, and determine how resources and energies are directed.

The University’s current strategic plan is more than a decade old, and a new one is needed to provide a robust framework to enhance the University’s ability to address local and global challenges and opportunities These include:

  • advancing research that will benefit a dynamic society with changing needs;
  • engaging the community in thoughtful ways that make a difference;
  • meeting the needs of an increasingly international population;
  • transforming educational experiences to better enable students to embark on emerging careers and life-long learning;
  • transitioning infrastructure and processes to embody sustainability; and
  • acting on equity, diversity, and inclusion to empower not only the campus, but those in the institution’s many communities.

The University will engage and consult with on- and off-campus communities, collect data, and assess feedback through to next spring. The strategic plan will be developed in spring and summer, with the approval process taking place in fall 2022.

The University of Windsor is proud to be an anchor institution in the Windsor-Essex region, and a committed partner in the region and beyond.

It invites the community to follow the development of the plan, share insights, and participate in the coming consultations. More information and ongoing updates can be found by visiting engageuwindsor.ca.

Environmental studies major Maddie PetersEnvironmental studies major Maddie Peters represented Canada at the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Youth.

Science student signs on to climate challenge

A UWindsor science student joined the fight against climate change at the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY16) in Glasgow in October. COY16 preceded the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26).

Maddie Peters is a fourth-year environmental studies student with the School of Environment. Over the course of four days she participated in plenary sessions, breakout sessions, skill building workshops, and networking activities.

“We provided input about our countries’ positions in the climate crisis and this was all recorded and formulated into the Global Youth Statement,” she says. “This policy document was created to represent youth voices which was then presented at COP26 and distributed to world leaders and negotiators.”

Peters says bringing together youth from all over the world to create this policy document in person and virtually was an effective way to represent the youth perspective because very few young people are invited to be involved in COP26 negotiations.

“Youth are the most important stakeholder in these climate negotiations because we will be living with the consequences of inaction for the rest of our lives,” says Peters.

“We are too often left out of the discussion and this conference is a way to amplify youth voices.”

As the only Canadian representative from the Great Lakes region, Peters felt it was important to raise the region’s unique challenges at the COY16 discussions.

“Last year we saw extremely high lake levels that caused a lot of damage to our shorelines and unfortunately it is likely that this will become more and more common in the future,” she says.

“Southwestern Ontario is also one of the most productive agricultural regions in Canada and our climate is projected to become ‘wetter and wilder’ which poses a serious threat to farmers.”

Peters says the main highlight for her was getting to meet youth from around the world and listen to their stories.

“I particularly enjoyed hearing from Jiboiana, a group of indigenous environmental activists who spoke about the struggles that Brazilian indigenous tribes are facing to protect the Amazon rainforest.”

In 2020 Peters was chosen as a panelist for the Essex Climate Adaption Team where she assisted the Municipality of Essex to create their climate adaption plan along with several other members of the community. She currently works for the resource conservation department at Point Pelee National Park.

George J. Sefa DeiProfessor George J. Sefa Dei will deliver the inaugural lecture in a series on anti-racism and anti-oppression pedagogies, Friday, Dec. 10.

Lecture to open series on anti-racism pedagogies

A lecture by George J. Sefa Dei, professor of social justice education and director of the Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, is the inaugural event in the Distinguished Speaker Series in Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Pedagogies, Friday, Dec. 10.

Dr. Dei, a Ghanian-born educator, researcher, and writer, is one of Canada’s foremost scholars on race and anti-racism studies. His talk, sponsored by the UWindsor Office of the Vice-President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and entitled “Race, Indigeneity, and Anti-Colonial Education: Making Discursive Links,” is set for 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Microsoft Teams. Register here.

Dei’s presentation will focus on making discursive links between race, Indigeneity, decolonization, and anticolonial education by engaging key concepts of race, [anti-]Blackness, Indigeneity, and decoloniality.

He has written 40 books and has more than 70 journal articles to his credit. Among his honours, Dei is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, winner of the Whitworth Award for Educational Research from the Canadian Education Association for research and scholarship that helped shaped educational policy and practice, and recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators.

In 2007, Dei was installed as a traditional chief in Ghana and given a stool of authority as the Gyaasehene of the town of Asokore, Koforidua. Read more.

choir singing in Assumption ChurchThe Dec. 4 Festival of Christmas will see university choirs return to Assumption Church.

Concertgoers celebrating return of student ensembles

The School of Creative Arts invites audiences to experience performances by music student ensembles live and in person this weekend and next.

Proof of vaccination is required to attend in-person concerts, and tickets must be purchased in advance. Those who prefer may purchase a livestream ticket and watch from the comfort of home.

Three different student ensembles have performances scheduled:

University Jazz Ensemble, Robert Fazecash, director
Saturday, Nov. 27, at 7:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre, 121 University Ave. West.
Playing tunes from Johnny Mercer, Burt Bacharach, Van Morrison, Charlie Parker, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney, the Jazz Ensemble will be joined by vocalists Annessa DeBlais, Sabrina Novelletto, and Ken Wood from the studio of Shahida Nurullah.

University Wind Ensemble, Trevor Pittman, director
Sunday, Nov. 28, at 2:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre
The Wind Ensemble’s program offers a variety of themes including folk dances, music written during the Second World War for the 445th U.S. Army band, contemporary wind band, and even musical theatre.

University Choirs, Bruce J.G. Kotowich, director
Saturday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Assumption Church, University Ave at Huron Church Rd.
To celebrate the University Choirs’ return to Assumption Church — their first performance in the space since 2013 — the Festival of Christmas program includes excerpts from Handel’s Messiah with student soloists and is topped off with a performance of “Brother Heinrich’s Christmas” with drama professor Lionel Walsh as narrator.

“I am enjoying working with these musicians so much. We come together, learn great music, have fun and leave stronger for it,” says Pittman. “We are all super-excited for the concert and would love to share this music with you.”

In-person tickets are $20, with a student rate of $10. Jazz and wind tickets are available on the  Capitol Theatre website: or by phone at 519-973-1238, ext. 2.

Livestream tickets for all three performances and in-person tickets for the Festival of Christmas concert are available for purchase online on the SoCA website. Tickets must be purchased in advance and proof of vaccination must be shown at the venue.

Shakael PryceGuard Shakael Pryce and the rest of the Lancer men’s basketball team will close out 2021 this week with a home-and-away series against the Laurier Golden Hawks.

Basketball set for final contests of 2021

Lancer basketball will meet the Laurier Golden Hawks for home-and-away doubleheaders in their last action before the holiday break, Wednesday and Saturday, Nov. 24 and 27.

The women will tip off at 6 p.m. and the men at 8 p.m. in Wednesday’s games in the Dennis Fairall Fieldhouse. Game time Saturday is 4 p.m. for the women and 6 p.m. for the men in Waterloo. OUA.tv will livestream all these contests.

Women’s hockey will be in Waterloo to face off against Laurier on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 26 and 27. The games will be available on OUA.tv at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday.

The men’s hockey team will travel to London to take on the Western Mustangs at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 25, and will play host in the rematch at the Capri Pizzeria Recreation Centre on Saturday, Nov. 27, 7:30 p.m. Both contests will be carried by OUA.tv.

Track and field will open its season with the intersquad Blue and Gold meet, Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, in the Dennis Fairall Fieldhouse.

Holiday market sceneThe David Wilson Commons will become a Holiday Market on Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Campus event to market holiday wares

A Holiday Market will bring local vendors to campus, offering their wares to faculty, staff, and students on Wednesday, Dec. 8.

A tent on the David Wilson Commons will accommodate the outdoor event, says organizer Mary-Ann Rennie, filled with handicrafts and foodstuffs — perfect for gifts or to make your season bright.

“We’re going to have it all decorated to really add a festive air,” she says. “I hope that everyone will take the opportunity to come out and enjoy the holiday atmosphere: those of us on campus now and those who haven’t been able to join us yet. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone and would ask that flexibility with work schedules be considered for individuals hoping to attend.”

Rennie has planned entertainment and complimentary refreshments for the occasion and notes vendors and patrons will be expected to adhere to pandemic protocols.

She invites interested vendors to contact her at mrennie@uwindsor.ca.

graphic of socks and trousersSocks and bottoms are the targets for a community drop-off box Friday in the student centre.

Box to collect charitable donations of warm clothing Friday

The Office of the Vice-President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion will set up a box in the student centre Friday to collect Socks and Bottoms to benefit the needy in our community.

Members of the campus community may drop off items next to the student centre information desk on Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Organizers are seeking socks, underwear, children’s diapers, adult incontinence products, toilet paper, gloves, toques, and sleeping bags for distribution to more than 25 charitable agencies across Windsor-Essex.

UWinsite StudentThe update to UWinsite Student, the University’s student information platform, is now complete.

UWinsite Student successfully updated

The update to UWinsite Student, the University’s student information platform, is now complete. The latest security-related features, functionality, and fixes were implemented while bringing a few enhancements.

“The changes are mostly to the back end of the system while positioning it to better address issues as they arise,” says acting registrar Lorraine Grondin. “Most users may notice only slight changes to the icons. There is new feature for students: Enrolment Appointments, which makes it easier to find registration times.”

The UWinsite Student Update team was made up of members from the offices of the Registrar, Student Awards and Financial Aid, Student Accounts, and Information Technology Services.

“We are thankful to the collaborative group who made the update such a success. We are also grateful to our campus partners for their input on the project and patience when UWinsite Student was unavailable,” says John Osborne, assistant director for business solutions and systems in IT Services.

A drop-in session with a short presentation for faculty and staff to learn more about the recent update is scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 1. The session will cover the minor changes to the system, the UWinsite Student Resources available online, and clarification on the “Enrolment by My Requirements” function. A registration form is available online and the presentation will be recorded for those who would like to review it later.

If you have any questions related to the UWinsite Student Project, email uwinsite@uwindsor.ca. To report an issue with UWinsite Student, open a ticket and it will be routed to the right area for help.

person working virtually on laptop computerNew funding is available under the Ontario Virtual Learning Strategy.

Second round of funding available in support of virtual learning

The provincial government and eCampus Ontario have again teamed up to provide funding in support of the Ontario Virtual Learning Strategy (VLS).

Built on three principles of collaboration, learner-driven, and digital by design, the new funding aims to extend this work with an additional $8 million to support creation of open content and explore possibilities for extended reality (XR) in teaching, as well as supporting new sandbox technologies and capacity-building across the sector.

eCampus Ontario is particularly interested in projects that build on those funded in the first round of VLS grants. UWindsor faculty members received funding worth almost $1.5 million for 19 projects as lead institution in the first round, and are collaborating on several other large cross-institutional VLS projects.

As in previous rounds, all content produced in funded projects must be openly licenced as Open Educational Resources and at a minimum shared with Ontario educators and students under an Ontario Commons licence, although other more open licences such as Creative Commons are encouraged.

Submissions for VLS 2.0 funding are due to eCampus Ontario by Jan. 14, 2022, with successful applicants notified in March 2022 and projects completed by February 2023. The UWindsor Office of Open Learning is once again supporting faculty interested in applying for these grants and co-ordinating the submission process for the University. It will ensure that all the submission requirements are met, including institutional sign off, as well as providing feedback and ensuring that proposals do not duplicate previous grants — a new requirement for 2022.

There are budget incentives for projects that address any of six core areas, including: microcredentials, sector-wide impact, learner engagement, employer partnerships, remote access, and translations.

An information session at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 26, will introduce the themes and requirements for this year’s funding, and answer any questions faculty might have about next steps.

The Office of Open Learning is also facilitating an online workshop on writing VLS grants on Tuesday, Nov. 30, from 12 to 1 p.m. Registration and more details are available on the registration portal.

For more information, contact Nick Baker, director of the Office of Open Learning, by email nbaker@uwindsor.ca or on MS Teams.