Bishop's Hodder made vice-principal

Bishop's Hodder made vice-principal McGill University

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McGill Reporter
April 8, 2004 - Volume 36 Number 14
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Home > McGill Reporter > Volume 36: 2003-2004 > April 8, 2004 > Bishop's Hodder made vice-principal

Bishop's Hodder made vice-principal

Janyne Hodder, principal of Bishop's University in Lennoxville, is joining McGill as the first vice-principal of inter-institutional affairs. Hodder will be responsible for leading McGill's interactions with the provincial government, the city of Montreal and other institutions and universities.

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Janyne Hodder

"We are extremely fortunate to have a person of Ms. Hodder's stature and experience in government and higher education join McGill in this very important senior capacity," said Principal Heather Munroe-Blum. "Ms. Hodder will play a pivotal role as the university expands its activities and reinforces existing relations with all levels of government and other organizations."

Hodder starts work on November 1. Her goal is to enhance the effectiveness of McGill's external relations with other universities, government organizations and departments and partners. More attention needs to be paid to not just our own goals, but also those of potential collaborators.

"We've had a long tradition where institutions lobby - it's sort of a request mode, where you go to the government and you plead, and you either get it or you don't. We need to think about forms of partnership where the university shapes an agenda that it can live with as an institution and that is also public policy that the government can live with," she said.

Although she still needs to find out what links have already been established here, Hodder said it would be a positive step to have a strategic overall view.

"It's beneficial to get together and to work out the kind of things we're looking for, how we can achieve them together, and to consolidate our relationship with the government. There's a kind of dispersion that, I think, doesn't always serve an institution well," she said.

The timing is good to increase focus on these issues, according to Hodder. With both the Commission parlementaire sur la qualité, l'accessibilité et le financement des universités and an upcoming forum on CEGEPs, higher education is receiving a lot of attention.

"It has certainly generated a lot of rethinking on higher education and a fair amount of public support for the argument that universities are underfunded," said Hodder, adding that this public perception will likely lead the government to make higher education a priority.

"There is a zeitgeist right now around higher education and how it's organized. It's very important for McGill that its viewpoints are integrated into that conversation," she said.

Hodder has had a long career in education. She comes to McGill after nine years as principal of Bishop's. Prior to that she worked for the provincial government in the Ministry of Education, finishing her career there as a associate deputy minister.

Vice-principal (academic) Luc Vinet is delighted to have Hodder on board. Having worked with Hodder through the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec (CREPUQ), he admires her abilities.

"I've had a chance to witness how she works with the collegium of rectors and principals at CREPUQ. She's a person whose judgments and insights are sought after, but she can be assertive in a very charming and effective fashion," he said.

Vinet said that the appointment of Hodder will go a long way toward improving McGill's performance with external partners, and helping the university grow.

"McGill has not always been good at developing partnerships with external bodies, be they governmental, para-governmental or the business sector. This in part is because we have not sustained the effort - it hasn't been as critical as it is now. We need to be present and sustain that effort. It will generate better coordination - it will allow us to do our core business on a more elaborate and bigger scale than we do now."

Hodder said that she looks forward to working at McGill. Understanding different viewpoints and cultures is something she has done all her life, coming from a bilingual and bicultural background. Her master's thesis (she received her BA and MA from McGill) was on second language acquisition.

"For reasons that are not entirely clear to me, I've always been, by training or by nature, a translator. I have this capacity to switch to how one person sees something to how another does, and I've done that my entire career. It does have to do with the consequences of growing up bilingually and biculturally. What you're saying in one language or one environment will be construed differently in another."

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