President Timmons delivers 5th annual State of the University address

By Greg Campbell Posted: January 25, 2019 12:10 p.m.

The Conexus Art Centre was the site of Dr. Vianne Timmons’ State of the University Address to the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce on January 23.
The Conexus Art Centre was the site of Dr. Vianne Timmons’ State of the University Address to the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce on January 23. Photos: U of R Photography

With more than 15,500 students and 3,000 employees, the University of Regina and federated colleges form a place like no other - a sort of "city within a city."
 
That was the theme of Dr. Vianne Timmons’ fifth annual State of the University Address presented Wednesday, January 23.
 
Close to 300 people, mostly members of the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce, listened as Dr. Timmons gave them a glimpse into the life of a Canadian university president and the trials and triumphs of leading such a large and diverse institution.
 
“My mother always said surround yourself with people who will raise you up,” said Timmons to reporters after the presentation. “At the University I am surrounded by people who raise me up. That’s how we get through the challenging issues that inevitably we are faced with.”

students at window
A remake of the photo for
President Timmons’
students-at-my-window
story detailed in her 2019
State of the University Address.


The address, entitled The University of Regina: A Place Like No Other, illustrated to the audience that while the University is a microcosm of the larger society and is impacted by tensions of the world, some issues faced by a post-secondary institution president can be quite different from those faced by business and corporate leaders.

One such instance was Timmons’ efforts on behalf of deported Nigerian University of Regina students Victoria Ordu and Ihuoma Favour Amadi. When Timmons heard about their plight, she rallied supporters and was able to raise the funds needed to secure their return. The applause that broke out at the end of this story was a clear indicator that audience members appreciate what international students bring to the campus and city, and believe in the power of community action in support of students.
 
During the presentation, Timmons recounted a story about seeing multiple young faces pressed up against a window of her home one morning at 5:00 a.m. Turns out they were over-eager students taking part in a scavenger hunt that included in its list of collectables, a photo with the president. The story received a lengthy bout of laughter from those assembled at the Conexus Art Centre. Incidentally, the students got their picture.

Timmons repeated the principle that she says informs her leadership: “The University of Regina should not reflect the world we live in, it should reflect the world we want to live in. That guides everything I do – every challenge I face, every unusual email I answer, every decision I make.”
 
Through it all, Timmons sees the University of Regina as “pivotal in educating the next generation of leaders, providing opportunities for youth, and shaping the future of our city and province.”
Challenging as it can be, there is no place she would rather work.

“I am excited as I continue my third term,” she concluded. “It as an honour to lead the University of Regina.”