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Fact or fiction: Rumour Mill

Thursday, January 19, 2012

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Written by Janet Errygers

Rumour Mill is a public forum hosted by U of Guelph president Alastair Summerlee and provost Maureen Mancuso. Held each semester, it allows students and faculty to congregate for a question and answer period to clear up any “rumours” that may be circulating throughout the Guelph community.

This Wednesday, most of the seats in the room were taken, and Summerlee and Mancuso were quizzed for an hour. Below is a brief synopsis of what what discussed during the forum.

Q: What is the purpose of the Strategic Research Plan draft that has been circulated recently?

A: The Strategic Research Plan is something that every institution must produce. It is required by funding agencies, and the current plan has been in place for five years. Although the new plan is currently in its third or fourth draft, the research board is still uncomfortable and requesting another redraft. The final plan will be brought to senate in April.

Q: Is there an update on integrated planning?

A: A strategic vision document is well underway. These integrated plans aim to shape and meet goals under provincial mandates, such as targets for undergraduates and graduates. They are due on February 14thand will be the basis for the preparation of the University Integrated Plan. They will be presented at the April senate meeting, as well as presented for approval at the April board meeting.

Q: Are there any updates on the new Canadian Food Institute building?

A: Currently, the Canadian Food Institute is in a conceptual stage. It has been reported to the senate and is close to approval. Currently, the board is looking to hire a manager to organize the entire project. The Food Institute is being led out of OAC but include collaborations from all of the colleges on campus.

Q: Why is U of G not included in the vice president's council (that lobbies for projects) of major research universities?

A: Canadian universities are engaged more so with each other than the “big five” in the United States. There is no evidence of the effectiveness of being a part of this council other than its advocating for more money to put toward research.

Q: Are there any plans for an underpass or overpass at the crosswalk between campuses on Gordon street?

A: Putting an overpass in would be good for pedestrians and motorists alike, but the issue of jaywalking still remains. People will still walk across the road because it is easier and faster. This year, a study of the streets, intersections and sidewalks around the university will be undertaken to determine their efficiency.

Q: Are there future plans for the “cow path”?

A: In the longer term, the plan is to upgrade the path when Research Park North is fully developed.

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