Chancellor’s Debate series kicks off

Posted on Thursday, March 31, 2016

uOttawa chancellor Calin Rovinescu stands at a podium. Other debaters sit in the background.

uOttawa chancellor Calin Rovinescu takes the podium at the debate, which took place in Huguette Labelle Hall.

By Mike Foster

The question of how universities are preparing graduates for the ever-changing job market was the subject of the inaugural uOttawa Chancellor’s Debate on March 31.

It was the first in a series of debates bringing together thought-leaders and opinion-makers for spirited discussions on important contemporary issues. The debate series was conceived by Calin Rovinescu, the University of Ottawa’s new chancellor.

The first debate, which took place in Huguette Labelle Hall (Tabaret Hall), featured Rovinescu, who is president and CEO of Air Canada, along with uOttawa President and Vice-Chancellor Allan Rock. The other debaters were Alex Johnston, vice-president of strategy and public affairs at the CBC, and Marie-Hélène Lafond, a political and economic specialist at the U.S. State Department and co-founder of Connexion internationale de Montréal, a networking group for international affairs professionals.

In February 2016, during a wide-ranging address at his official installation as the 14th chancellor of the University, Rovinescu announced plans for the twice-yearly debates to discuss pressing topics of the day.

Some studies have suggested that many new graduates and employers do not believe that a university education prepares students well for the job market. However, most higher education institutions would strongly disagree with that assessment.

The debate was moderated by Nathalie Des Rosiers, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section. It was followed by a question-and-answer period. Anyone who missed the debate can watch the recorded webcast.

Do you have a topic for the next Chancellor’s Debate? If so, please send your suggestion to!

Calin Rovinescu, Marie-Hélène Lafond, Alex Johnston and Allan Rock

(From left) Calin Rovinescu, Marie-Hélène Lafond, Alex Johnston and Allan Rock.

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