Saint Paul University
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ANNUAL REPORT 2018-2019 


Saint Paul University
Proud of our accomplishments · Excited about our future!

Seeing opportunities beyond the obstacles

Guiding transformation and building a stronger, inclusive and more humane society is what we strive to do each day at Saint Paul University (SPU).

A focus on the whole person

The learning experience at Saint Paul University is about valuing the whole person and helping each student discover who they are and what they can be: agents of change. We do this in a setting that contributes to the movement of transformation in the world and in a context of social justice. Students and staff participate in the public debate about the positive role major religions can play in society, based on a long tradition of dialogue between faith and reason, as they look at how we can build institutional and community leadership rooted in Christian values and spirituality. Our world is in need of new paradigms and new models, and we firmly believe that each of us is born with a gift that will contribute to making this happen.

Sound planning

Our Guiding Transformation Together campaign went public in November 2018. Saint Paul University is seeking to develop a number of progressive and impactful priorities that will enable the University to expand its scope and ability to effect change both locally and globally.

We have also started the process for our next strategic plan: Osez le changement – Dare to Change 2020‑2025. As we do so, we will draw on the fundamental values that have shaped and guided Saint Paul University since its foundation, as we endeavour together to “Be the face of change.” 


Our Board of Governors meetings are now public. Schedules, committee structures, agendas and approved open-session minutes are available online. The process of reviewing our statutes as required by Veritatis Gaudium has begun.

Co-engagement strategies 

Government of Canada
With our participation in the federal Deputy Minister University Champion Initiative, we are working to strengthen the relationship between the public service and Saint Paul University; raise the profile of student career opportunities within the public service; increase on-campus involvement of federal public service employees; and enhance SPU’s profile within the federal public service through greater collaboration and increased alignment of collaborative research projects.

Indigenous relations
Saint Paul University supports the commitment made by Universities Canada in its February 12, 2018, statement promoting the renewal of Indigenous–non-Indigenous relations in Canada by examining and modifying the approaches, policies, practices and institutional structures of our University.

We know that universities must become more active in defending the important mandate of reconciliation. We understand that it is not enough for institutions to participate in ceremonies and offer bureaucratic generalities. Rather, our University is listening, open to change and ready for transformation.

We have created an internal working group, started planning, done a site survey, held consultations and completed several projects. However, much remains to be done.

Here is what we have accomplished so far:

  • We have hired an Indigenous program coordinator.
  • We have hired two resident elders.
  • We have hired Indigenous teaching staff.
  • We have created a new course that is mandatory for all students: HTP 1106 – The First Peoples of Canada.
  • We have signed an agreement with Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) and Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute (Oshki) to work together in addressing the mental health crisis of Indigenous peoples in order to co-create and co-deliver a range of programs to support and train Indigenous counsellors and psychotherapists. A first in any Canadian province or territory, NAN, Oshki and SPU have partnered to develop five new mental health program streams that will integrate the Nishnawbe Aski Nation culture, traditions and languages in the formation and professional development of more than 600 program graduates over the next five years. The direct outcome of the Mino-Bimaadiziwin Mental Health Education programs will be the first sustainable, culturally appropriate and community-based response to the mental health crisis faced by Indigenous people in NAN territory, which covers 49 communities, or two thirds of Ontario’s geography.
  • We are exploring partnerships in this initiative with St. Mark’s College at the University of British Columbia, Nipissing University, First Nations University of Canada, as well as institutions in Quebec and New Brunswick to make it pan-Canadian.
  • We have created an Indigenous Learners Centre.
  • We have fully funded an Indigenous pastoral formation program.
  • We have developed and hosted an English-speaking Indigenous women’s leadership summer school.
  • We have created an Indigenous leader bursary fund.

We hope this journey to reconciliation becomes a universal and widespread reality.

Saint Paul University has signed a strategic international partnership with the Institut catholique européen des amériques (ICEA). Beginning in 2019, SPU will welcome ECIA students to Ottawa to complete their bachelor’s degree. In fact, this agreement allows students to obtain their licence (French system) and their Canadian baccalaureate. In the longer term, Canadian students will have the same opportunity to complete their studies in Martinique and obtain both degrees. This agreement is also an opportunity to encourage collaboration between professors and the enrichment of knowledge. This partnership reinforces SPU’s role on the international stage.

Recognizing outstanding contributions

This year was a special one, as we held several recognition events highlighting the contributions of exceptional people, including 

  • The awarding of an honorary doctorate to Pierre Bergeron and to Vivian Labrie at our annual graduation ceremony
  • The presentation of the Eugène de Mazenod Medal to Professor Heather Eaton and to educator Jan Bentham
  • The presentation of the Alumnus of the Year Award to Tanya Zayed

Our pledge to our students

As a post-secondary institution, we are called to help our students find their gift, nurture it and put it to use to effect mindful and sustainable change.


Chantal Beauvais


Chantal Beauvais