Welcome back! I hope you had an enjoyable summer and that you’re looking forward to an exciting new academic year. After bidding farewell to long-standing president Mark Evered in June, we will continue to build on his legacy. We look forward to greeting new students and faculty, building new relationships, and initiating important conversations after the summer months. As we ramp up for the new semester, I want to share some important updates from our community.
First, please join me in congratulating Craig Toews on his appointment to the re-established role of Vice President, External. Craig has been with UFV for 29 years and brings extensive leadership experience and a deep understanding of the UFV environment to this position. He’s responsible for fostering the university’s reputation and will lead the University Relations portfolio, Ancillary services, campus planning and government, community and corporate relations.
We also welcome long-time professor in the UFV Mathematics and Statistics department, Dr. Greg Schlitt, to the role of Acting Dean of the Faculty of Science. Greg will be replacing Dr. Lucy Lee who is on administrative leave until September 1, 2018. Greg’s professionalism, mentoring ways, and service to Math, Science, and the university at large, have all been exceptional and will serve UFV well as he takes on the Acting Dean role.
Dr. Satwinder Bains embarks on another exciting chapter in her career at UFV as she has been appointed Principal, UFV India. Satwinder will divide her time between the South Asian Studies Institute here in Abbotsford and providing oversight of academic operations for the team in Chandigarh.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Cindy Jardine as our newest Canada Research Chair in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Cindy’s research is in the area of environmental health risk communication and much of her work is done as participatory research with Indigenous communities in northern Canada.
This fall, UFV is honoured to host The Witness Blanket, a large-scale art installation composed of hundreds of items reclaimed from residential schools, churches, government buildings, and traditional cultural structures from across Canada. The Witness Blanket stands as a national monument recognizing the injustices of the Indian Residential School era. This important installation will host ceremonies and gatherings during its lengthy stay at UFV – stay tuned for more details.
Other exciting changes this Fall include several strategic investments in teaching and technology on campus. Significant renovations and upgrades have been made to the Abbotsford library, the large lecture theatre, and science labs, along with a continued investment in classrooms through the Pedagogy Investment Fund. With the final touches still underway, we are pleased to reveal new and upgraded space for the coming semester.
UFV continues to find new ways to live our mission, educate our students, and advance our work. We are proud of our UFV culture and are taking efforts to ensure we continue to be one of BC’s top employers by cultivating connections and engagement with our colleagues and students.
We are making investments that strengthen our community, create an environment where our students and faculty can pursue their passions, and position our university for future success.
I’m deeply grateful to each of you for your contributions and extraordinary dedication to our students; I am honored to be a part of this remarkable and talented community. I hope you will join me at our annual UFV Welcome Back BBQ on Wednesday, August 23 at noon on the green at our Abbotsford campus.
President and Vice-Chancellor