Can a year really have fled by so fast? It has been a luxury and a privilege to have been granted an administrative year. A year to remember my research, to do some writing, attend some conferences, and organize an international conference here in Edmonton. I have enjoyed it immensely. Ah the life of the mind. But in the midst of all of that, I’ve also missed many things about my busy life as Dean of this vibrant Faculty. I have missed my friends, colleagues and students in the Faculty of Arts; equally, I have missed being part of the conversation – that wonderful and ever-evolving story of who we are, and where we are going (those of you who know me well will definitely understand my desire not to be left out!). I am excited to jump back into the fray, representing and interacting with this vibrant and thriving community. It is with great pleasure that I return to my role as Dean of the Faculty of Arts.
Before I begin my second term, however, I wish to express my gratitude to my team, and to everyone who has continued the great work of the Faculty of Arts this past year. In particular, I extend my deepest appreciation to Lise Gotell and Stuart Landon, who as Acting-Dean and Acting Vice-Dean, respectively, exemplified great poise and thoughtful leadership under challenging conditions. I also would also like to thank Mike O’Driscoll, who is ending a very productive term as Associate Dean (Research), and welcome Steve Patten, who will continue in this role.
It's going to be more and more important to think about how Arts is, and can be, integral to our modern society. There is much work to do, and I can assure you, it won’t be business as usual. An increasingly complex global environment and workplace requires that we cultivate communities of excellence that are relevant, pro-active, scholarly and creatively robust. We will achieve this through bold rethinking, curricular development, recruitment, and community engagement. Some of our initiatives, such as the BA renewal, will be realized soon, while others will take time and effort, but I say without equivocation, we are up to the challenge! We invite it, in fact.
I look forward to a great year ahead, and I wish you all a fantastic summer!
Happy Canada Day!