September 7, 2021
Aanii – Greetings,
I am delighted to welcome you to a new academic year. I look forward, as no doubt you are, as well, to walking through the hallways and across campus to greet colleagues after the long hiatus from in-person interactions. I am particularly excited to see new and returning students in our Faculty of Education.
As glad as I feel about the resumption of our on-campus life, I also recognize that we have some uncertain times ahead of us. Along with UBC senior leadership and provincial health authorities, we are navigating mask mandates, vaccine cards, and rapidly changing circumstances arising from variants of concern and more. The safety and well-being of every member of our Faculty of Education community is important to me. I ask that you remain patient with the guidelines and restrictions, and continue to hold each other up as we find our way forward.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people, most especially the staff and WorkLearn students, who came to campus regularly over the past 18 months to ensure that essential matters were looked after. I would also like to recognize that all of us have worked extraordinarily hard throughout the remote work and learning period, whether it was putting courses online, attending to administrative matters, taking classes, or meeting with graduate students and research colleagues through seemingly endless Zoom meetings.
Though it seemed to be a life lived almost fully online, together we have made significant accomplishments in our education community. Key markers from the past 18 months include the highly successful rollout of Workday, a number of very well attended online public lectures and events across departments and programs, several significant donations and endowments, completion of the work of the Task Force on Race, Indigeneity, and Social Justice, and increased interest in our programs across the board. We have thrived and this is a tribute to the extraordinary people who make up our community.
This month, I draw your attention to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, September 30th, which will be observed as a statutory day to commemorate the legacy of residential schools and to honour residential school survivors and those who did not return to their families, communities, or territories. We will share some of our upcoming events related to this important day with you soon.
In Coast Salish tradition, I raise my hands up to all of you in respect and gratitude for the patience, care, and kindness that you have shown to your friends, families, and colleagues. This has made for stronger communities to support our return to campus.
Miigwech – thank you and stay well!