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New school of mines to take a broad approach

Laurentian University's new Goodman School of Mines has taken a multi-disciplinary approach to teach every aspect of the mining cycle.
Nicole Tardif, program co-ordinator, Goodman School of Mines.

Laurentian University's new Goodman School of Mines has taken a multi-disciplinary approach to teach every aspect of the mining cycle.

Nicole Tardif, the Goodman School of Mines' program coordinator, said staff have worked to offer students a wide variety of programs ranging from geology to engineering and workplace safety.

Founded last year, the Sudbury school's goal has been to regroup Laurentian's various mining-related courses to create relevant programs for mining students.

“We don't have faculty in the Goodman School of Mines,” Tardif said. “Nobody reports to us.” Instead the school has helped departments tailor their courses into a variety of mining-related programs.

For the most part, Laurentian already had the courses in place to create wellrounded programs that explore the mining cycle. Where needed, the school has provided the funding and administrative help necessary to fill in the gaps where particular courses may have been missing. To that end, the school set out to create a $20-million endowment fund to support existing and new mining-related programs.

Last October, Ned Goodman, the president and CEO of the Dundee Corporation, and the school's namesake, made a donation to Laurentian that brought the School of Mines past the halfway point for the endowment fund.

Tardif said different departments at Laurentian offer a variety of miningrelated courses, but they haven't always collaborated in the past.

“They don't necessarily know what's going on in another department,” she said.

Engineering students, for example, were not necessarily exposed to courses on occupational health and safety or indigenous studies.

Tardif said Laurentian offers a course where students spend 10 days living in a First Nation community. “They learn about the culture and how First Nation communities feel about the environment,” she said. That course, she added, would be useful to geologists or environmental scientists who will probably work closely with First Nations to help ratify agreements and develop collaborative approaches for resource extraction.

The Goodman School of Mines also has plans to start a mining MBA program.

“We feel a focus on mineral exploration and mine management would be a niche here in Sudbury,” Tardif said. The mining MBA will be part of a slate of executive programs, which will be primarily offered to professionals who already work in the mining sector.

The programs – and there are at least 12 in development – give companies the chance to enhance the skills of their workforce, especially at the top levels.

Other executive programs in development include mineral exploration and mine finance, mining project management, leadership in mining environments and resource evaluation.

To accommodate the executive programs, a learning centre will be developed with teleconferencing capabilities.

Eventually, Tardif said, they want to have a stand-alone executive learning centre in a new building on the Laurentian campus.

Another long-term plan for the school is to foster relationships with other institutions and even offer joint programs. Tardif said there have been some early talks with other universities but could not go into more detail.

Jonathan Migneault

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