A word from Michael Di Grappa

April-May 2011
Michael Di Grappa, Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance)

“Programs, processes and policies are necessary, but the people behind them are the driving force of our success and for any change to occur.”

When I joined McGill six months ago, one of my priorities was to spend time getting to know as many people as possible, their issues, challenges, and aspirations – and to better understand the culture at McGill.  I quickly realized that we have amazing talent – people who are proud of the institution they represent and who are keen to contribute to McGill’s goals and successes.

Among my responsibilities, I have oversight for Human Resources, which is under the leadership of Associate Vice-Principal Lynne B. Gervais.   Together, we have discussed her team’s role in supporting McGill’s goals and we agreed that a solid plan is already in place.  We also agreed that, moving forward, we must remain aligned with the priorities established by the Principal and the senior administrative team.

Our priorities

Among our objectives and priorities, we must continue to engage our employees by making sure we provide a work environment that is conducive to creative thinking, flexibility, professional growth and efficiency.

We also want to continue to foster constructive working relationships with the University’s formally organized employee groups.  We need to consult on major initiatives by encouraging the exchange of information, ideas and views about matters of mutual interest and concern, through both formal and informal channels.

We must continue to support the development of performance-driven leaders by nurturing their growth through approaches such as the University’s leadership development program. So far, the program has groomed over a hundred participants, eager to apply their leadership skills in an environment where teamwork is increasingly the norm and strong leadership the expectation.

We have put in place a Strategic Reframing Initiative to provide the framework and tools to help us navigate through these complex and challenging times.  And we continue to benchmark with similar organizations that have implemented best practices that we can adapt to our own work environment.

It’s about people

Programs, processes and policies are necessary, but the people behind them are the driving force of our success and for any change to occur.  For that, we need to ensure that we have in place the right people in the right job, properly supported to achieve our goals.

Based on what I have heard to date, I know our employees are dedicated to upholding McGill’s ranking as a world-class institution.  There is tremendous pride in being associated with McGill and we all are keen to protect McGill’s outstanding reputation.  This is what employee engagement is really about.  I am truly excited, privileged, and honoured to be a member of McGill.  I look forward to working with all of you in the years ahead.

Michael Di Grappa
Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance)

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