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Annual Report 2014–15

Introduction

Seneca’s 2014-15 Annual Report includes a summary of our yearly activities, achievements and initiatives; End-of-Year Business Plan Report-back; fast facts; a Board of Governors and senior executive listing; directory of new program offerings and consolidated financial statements.

Message from the Chair and President

In 2014-15, we had cause to reflect on our proud history while continuing to build an exciting future for the thousands of students who study with us each year, whether they come to Seneca from around the corner or from around the world.

We mourned the loss of our founding president, William T. Newnham, who died on August 23, 2014. He wasn’t just Seneca’s first president but also our first employee. As he was hired in December, 1966, Dr. Newnham was presented with a symbolic empty box and told to fill it, just as he was handed a college with no building, no staff, no programs, no curriculum and, most significantly, no students. In a short few months, he launched Seneca with 3,500 full- and part-time students in dozens of programs. And under his leadership and with his vision, from that moment Seneca never looked back.

Seneca today is one of the largest colleges in Canada. 27,500 full-time students. 70,000 continuing education registrants. 500 career options. More than 8,000 graduates annually. And we continue to build a strong future.

This year, we began the process of changing student orientation, moving it from being a one-time event before the semester starts to a two-week program that starts on Day One. We call it Experience Seneca, and the idea is to provide our students with the best possible start to their time with us. In 2014-15, we also launched a project to develop a new and comprehensive end-to-end student advising service. Both of these major initiatives are related to our determination to increase student retention and graduation.

We also rolled out a more efficient, user-friendly and modern information backbone for Seneca that has and will continue to change the way we work while offering an improved experience for our students. Our King Campus expansion and revitalization project made great strides this year, and in the coming years, students will be enjoying new facilities as well as more space at this beautiful and historic campus.

In 2014-15, we launched a new Centre for Research in Student Mobility to better understand how and why students transfer within the postsecondary system, and how we can improve their experience. We also introduced a youth entrepreneurship initiative called HELIX (Health Entrepreneurship and Lifestyle Innovation Xchange), helping to foster the entrepreneurial potential of our students and of youth in the community by working together to develop innovative personal health products and services.

Finally, with an eye to our future, we have been working with York University to bring a university campus to York Region. In 2014-15, York, with Seneca as its academic partner, proposed to the government a campus location in Markham Centre. Much work remains, but we are on the road to bringing new postsecondary opportunities to one of Ontario’s fastest-growing urban areas.

At Seneca, we celebrate our history. With the great foundations established by Dr. Newnham, and the dedication and hard work of our many employees, our future is bright.

We are inspired every day to continue to make ours a place that matters.

Colleen Fleming, BA, MBA, C.Dir
Chair, Board of Governors

David Agnew
President