Welcome to the Fall term! I am always energized and excited by the start of each academic year and this one is no exception. Appropriately for a semester that will be mostly online, we’re kicking it off with a virtual town hall for faculty and staff next Tuesday at 10 am. I hope you can join us – if you can’t, you can submit a question through the registration form, and we’ll be providing a recording later next week.
While September brings optimism and fresh starts, I’d like to acknowledge that this has also been a very difficult time for some of our colleagues. Some have lost dear family members; partners have lost jobs; and we struggle at times with the uncertainty a pandemic brings. I have always believed that a university is its people, and these challenging months of 2020 have truly borne this out. Now – more than ever – it’s important we take good care of each other and ourselves.
Just as I’m thinking about how we support each other in this community, UFV has a role to play in leading a re-think of humanitarian work and how we take care of each other globally. Last Tuesday was World Humanitarian Day, and in the most recent guest post on the President’s Blog, Dr. Cherie Enns and Dr. Edward Akuffo call on us to pause and ponder our common humanity and interconnectedness, and to join efforts in addressing global humanitarian challenges.
Finally, I’d like to remind you to provide your input into the survey on UFV’s integrated strategic plan. The survey, which takes about 20 minutes, asks your help in prioritizing potential areas of focus for UFV over the next five years to achieve our three goals of engaging learners, transforming lives and building community. As an incentive, UFV is holding weekly draws for Support Local BC $50 gift certificates until the survey closes on September 25. Be sure to complete the survey as soon as you can – your input is extremely important.
2020-2021 is going to be a momentous year – I’m happy to be starting it alongside all of you.
Take good care and be well.
Joanne MacLean, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor