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Message from the Rector to the Saint Paul University Community


Monday, March 11, 2024

Dear Saint Paul University community,

It gives me great pleasure to join you a few days before the spring equinox! After twenty years in Montreal and many trips abroad, I’m returning home to where I spent my formative years. I return with many ideas, many experiences and just as much energy. However, it must be said that, as the new Rector, I will be listening above all. For the first few months, I will be in “sponge” mode, to fully understand our strengths and challenges, as well as our institutional and individual needs and desires. My arrival will coincide with preparations for our next institutional strategic plan. It will be an ideal opportunity to dialogue and dream together about the directions we need to take in the coming years.

I will work diligently for you, and for our community. In choosing to come to SaintPaul University, I’ve agreed to invest in the bilingual nature of the university, its relationship with spirituality, its philosophical and ethical character, forever concerned with social justice and invested in the great questions that animate our society. There are, of course, challenges — external limits on our growth, on our ability to maintain the number of students coming from abroad — but I see these as opportunities that will force us to innovate and find elegant solutions.

I would like to extend my warmest thanks to outgoing Rector Chantal Beauvais, for her many years of dedication to the university. She leaves us a university that has a coherent vision and is doing well. Over the past few weeks, she and the entire rectorate team have taken the time to bring me up to speed on the issues at hand. Any transition is inherently difficult, but I already feel very welcome.

My formal installation will take place on April 16. The following days will be devoted to dialogue, with experts from several universities and, of course, colleagues from Saint Paul University. All these people will converge on SPU to discuss the question of care in our society, about hope in universities, about what sacred art and sacred places teach us. We’ll also explore the ethical framework for the meteoric advances of artificial intelligence and biotechnology, how socially engaged art and storytelling can heal and, finally, what are concrete steps towards reconciliation between Canada’s First Peoples and settler peoples. These themes are aligned with the values of our institution, and they open the door to new exchanges. It will be such a pleasure to see you there.

I look forward to meeting you and working with you at Saint Paul University!

Louis Patrick Leroux

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