The Maple League of Universities appoints a new governance model to support unprecedented growth
The Maple League of Universities is an academic consortium that has grown rapidly since 2018. The four university presidents believe that this inter-institutional collaboration is a strategic priority for each of their institutions, and that working together will continue to enhance the quality, innovation, and sustainability of their respective universities.
Due to rapid growth in multiple areas — including shared academic courses, supporting student leadership, leading a virtual teaching and learning centre, decolonizing education abroad, and attracting over $1 million of external funding — the Maple League is moving into a new phase of working together.
In light of these achievements, the four university presidents have designed a new governance model that will enable this academic consortium to continue to grow and become more deeply engrained in the four institutions.
This fall, the Maple League Presidents Council vested operational leadership to a Governing Board, which is composed of the Vice-Presidents Academic/Provosts of the four institutions. This new Governing Board will be chaired by Dr. Jeff Hennessy, Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research at Mount Allison University. The four universities have agreed to extend funding from 2023 to 2028 at the current level, and to operationalize inter-institutional collaboration through the intentional design of systems and structures.
The Maple League of Universities continue to model how excellence is achieved through collaboration. All four Maple League universities appeared in the top six spots in the category of primarily undergraduate universities in Canada for 2023. Moreover, four of the ten 3M National Student Fellowships awarded across Canada went to students attending a Maple League university. A project shared across the Maple League called the Online Teaching and Technology Consultants (OLTC) program won the D2L Award in June 2022, the highest recognition of innovation in higher education by a team.
On the heels of national and international achievements, Dr. Jessica Riddell finishes a stellar five-year term as Executive Director of the Maple League June 30, 2023; the governing board will initiate a search process for a new Executive Director in November 2022. Dr. Jeff Hennessy, new Chair of the Governing Board, states, “We are so grateful to Dr. Riddell for her tremendous leadership as the Executive Director of the Maple League. Under her direction, our consortium grew from a beautiful idea to a thriving, collaborative community of scholars, students, and staff. We would not be where we are today without Jessica’s leadership and vision, and we are sad to see her term come to an end. Her new book project, Hope University, will no doubt shape what excellence looks like in undergraduate education well into the future.”
Dr. Riddell reflects, “The privilege of seeing the inside of four institutions provided deep insights into how policies, systems, and structures operate and how they inform, shape, and reflect deep cultures. I have benefitted from a master class in policy development and implementation, governance, funding structures, and strategic planning. The experience has offered me a nuts-and-bolts understanding of systems – and constraints – as well as a greater understanding of how universities are striving to fulfill their mandate to contribute to the broader society. I am excited to take this knowledge into new spheres and share these insights with the Post-Secondary sector. The Maple League is in excellent hands, and I will continue to support these endeavors for many years to come.”
As the only academic consortium in Canada, the Maple League is proud to lead conversations on quality undergraduate education. Each institution is dedicated to graduating highly employable and deeply ethical individuals. The Maple League provides collaborative and innovative opportunities to students, faculty, and staff, which enhances resilience, engagement, and civic engagement.
“The Maple League consortium stands out as innovative in the landscape of higher education in Canada,” Hennessy remarks, “at Mount Allison University and across the four universities, we value inclusive, accessible, and high-quality undergraduate education: As four primarily undergraduate universities with common values and vision for 21st-century liberal education, our institutions are committed to helping students lead while they learn,” says Hennessy. “And the potential is simply extraordinary.”
About the Maple League
The Maple League is made up of four universities — Acadia, Bishop’s, Mount Allison and St. Francis Xavier — who together form an alliance of small, rural, undergraduate liberal education institutions with Francophone heritage and a commitment to truth and reconciliation with indigenous communities. By fostering reciprocal relationships across institutional boundaries, we provide extraordinary opportunities to transform as leaders, scholars, and institutions. The Maple League creates distinctive learning environments that ensure our graduates are capable of navigating an increasingly complex world as citizens and leaders dedicated to the values of a just and civil society. For more information, visit our website: www.mapleleague.ca
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Jessica Riddell
Executive Director, The Maple League of Universities