September 8, 2016
The Principal’s Task Force on the Academic Vision and Mission of the RVH Site met for the last time this past June to make its recommendations. For those new to our community, I invite you to read the background on the Task Force.
The RVH provides an opportunity to build and invigorate an academic neighbourhood with increased collaboration and interactions. The Task Force identified several overarching academic themes that emerged from the Expressions of Interest (EOIs) received from the community – in particular, Health Sciences, Sustainability Sciences and Public Policy. The themes were examined in light of the criteria described in the submission form, such as student desire to learn across disciplines and institutions, the central role of universities as a source of skilled talent, ideas and innovation for social, cultural and economic development in a global knowledge society, and the fit with the unique location of the RVH.
The members of the Task Force chose Sustainability Sciences and Public Policy as the anchor academic themes, with innovation and student life and learning as essential elements of these themes. The Provost convened two working groups to begin to develop the vision for bringing Sustainability Sciences and Public Policy as anchors to the RVH, as well as to suggest structures to increase collaboration across units and disciplines. These groups met regularly over the summer and work will continue throughout the fall to develop the full academic plan for the RVH.
Some initiatives that require small amounts of space and complement the themes chosen may also become part of this neighbourhood. As well, we will be working to accommodate major space needs and new initiatives in other locations as part of the campus master plan. All the EOIs gave us valuable context and ideas for future directions for McGill, and I thank those who made time in their busy schedules to send us their vision.
I want to thank the Task Force members, who gave up many hours of their time to debate ideas and provide sage advice.
Professor Suzanne Fortier