New Dean of Students Elizabeth Morey  

By Karen Herland

For Elizabeth Morey, assuming the office of the Dean of Students is a homecoming in more ways than one.

Elizabeth Morey Magnifying glass

Elizabeth Morey

Not only is she returning to Concordia after nearly 15 years (give or take a few contracts) she is also returning to Canada and the dossier that is her passion.

Morey left here in 1994 after running several different projects out of the Rector’s office on behalf of women, international and native students. From there, she held positions at Marianopolis College, eventually overseeing aspects of their move. Most recently, she has been Dean of College Services at two related men’s and women’s colleges in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“I went from students to buildings and budgets and back to students again,” said Morey, in her first week back on the job. She is experiencing déjà vu. But she is also excited by some changes.

“When I left, the Dean of Students office was also responsible for a number of services,” Morey said, referring to sectors like health and athletics. Those sectors are now under the Vice-President, Services. “That gives this office the freedom to focus on student needs.”

Morey has already begun to meet with student leaders and is developing ways to do so across the campus. She is very clear that her role is to hook students up with the resources they need. “That’s a priority of this job, to make sure students know what services are available and out there.” Beyond that, it is to be an advocate and catalyst for helping them create those resources where there are gaps.

“Concordia has always been known as the student-centred university. That’s been its strength at both the undergraduate and graduate level.”

Morey said her time in the UAE was challenging in that the environment was so different from what she was used to. “But it was also really interesting. I learned a lot about myself. It turned out that I missed winter, and I missed Radio-Canada.”

During her time at both Concordia and Marionopolis, developing ways for students to travel, experience other cultures and gain experience and skills along the way have been important for Morey.

She sees herself in a position to offer opportunity as well as service and support. “I want to reach students who don’t feel involved,” she said, reminded of how intimidating student groups seemed to her as an undergraduate.

Ideally, she’d like to be able to provide opportunities for students to gain leadership experience, explore other cultures and expand their education beyond the classroom.

But for now, she wants to take the time to find out what students articulate as their needs and priorities. “I know space is always an issue for students. It was at Marianopolis, in the UAE, and it is here. I’m committed to cooperation and consultation. Now I need to listen.”


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