As the winter 2021 semester officially ends, please accept my deep gratitude and appreciation for your dedication, ingenuity, and flexibility in completing your work under highly unusual circumstances over the past year. You have shown the true character of our university community through your commitment to our students and to each other, and through your steadfast resolve to deliver on the promise of a UFV education.
When most of us left campus to teach and work remotely over a year ago, none of us knew what kind of journey lay ahead – or how long it would last. I think it’s fair to say, the road has been long, uncertain, and stressful for many, yet your efforts have helped UFV continue to fulfil our mission of engaging learners, transforming lives, and building community. UFV students are fortunate to have faculty and staff like you who care immensely about the quality of education provided and who also care about students as people. Our students notice too and many have expressed their appreciation to me.
Despite the challenges and twists, faculty have provided students with knowledge and experiences that shape their educational pathways and their lives. As exams end and grades are submitted, I hope you can catch your breath and recharge. UFV staff members have demonstrated commitment, creativity, and hard work to ensure that every facet of university activity continues under challenging circumstances. You stayed true to UFV’s values, supported one another, and kept going. Everyone who works at UFV has contributed to the learning environment and enabled our many accomplishments, a rich achievement during a pandemic, albeit tiring and draining. Should you feel you need assistance, I want to reassure you that you are not alone and there are many resources available through UFV for your physical and mental health.
And when it comes to mental health, we know students need us, they need interaction with their peers and mentors, and they need to be on campus. So, while the third wave churns on now, the steady march of vaccinations means we should, if all continues as planned and with cautious optimism, be in a different place this coming September. This glimmer of hope may seem dim and a long way off, but as a society, and as a university, we are planning on moving forward per the advice of public health and our Provincial Health Officer, and our Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.
You have given your all to UFV and have remained focused on providing the best possible learning environment over the past academic terms. I hope that you will take time in the coming months to recharge, and to focus on yourself and your family. We will communicate regularly as we progress through the summer and as planning for the fall continues. Take care.
Dr. Joanne MacLean
President and Vice-Chancellor