Pillage California. Pillage England. Pillage …

Alex Usher, President, Higher Education Strategy Associates, is echoing a theme I touched upon here a few weeks ago. But he is better at it!

I talked about how Canada is in a global war for talent. He wants  “our universities to unleash their inner Vikings”.

I said that the opportunity is unique for Canada and that the time is now is based on many factors. He says it more bluntly. It is simply because “two of the world’s greatest repositories of scientific talent are broke”.

I said that a new and bold vision is needed, as well as a pro-active and deliberate strategy for its implementation on the required scale. He is more direct: “Canada is benefiting from the U.S. situation in a kind of passive way. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we should be actively organizing raiding parties to gather up these rare talents while they are there for the taking”.

He must have been eavesdropping on our Board of Governors meetings, when he says, “We need our universities – especially the ones in Western Canada, which are in a better medium-term financial position than the ones further east – to unleash their inner Viking and start pillaging”.

He must be listening to my constant pleading when he says,  “It’s what really competitive institutions would do, anyway”.

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