From the President's Desk: A time of transition

As the Winter 2022 semester comes to an end, President Flanagan invites the community to the State of the University address.

From the President's Desk

I would like to open today’s post with a special message to our students. This has been another challenging term, beginning with remote classes and then moving back to in-person. These transitions are not easy, especially on top of the usual demands of assignments, labs, papers and exams. Through it all, you have displayed great tenacity and determination. I am so proud of you and wish you all success with your exams.

I also want to express my appreciation to the faculty and staff who worked so hard to ensure that the term continued without interruption, supporting our students throughout. Thank you for the extra effort and time you’ve devoted to teaching this term and your steadfast dedication throughout the pandemic. 

The end of this term marks an important transition for U of A for Tomorrow. As Todd Gilchrist notes in his recap of the March 27 Ask SET Anything, the SET office and dedicated team have completed the core of its work. All remaining transition activities will move to operational units and the University Initiatives Office. 

While more work lies ahead, the SET team took the lead in developing the new operating model and redesigning central administrative streams in alignment with the model. With this foundational work done, the ongoing transformation of processes, procedures and policies will now be the responsibility of senior leaders and staff in the central portfolios and centres of expertise, and the SET team is disbanding. The SET team has shown extraordinary leadership since the inception of U of A for Tomorrow, and I want to thank them for their work. They have played an instrumental role in ensuring the U of A’s long-term financial sustainability and setting our university up for future growth.

As I’ve mentioned, the plans that SET has put in motion are still a work in progress. Along with the work that continues in all units, Provost Steven Dew and I continue to work closely with college and faculty deans on building the colleges. We are continuing our work to refine roles and responsibilities, set timelines for the ongoing set up of colleges' offices of education and research and determine the redistribution of academic leaders. 

Please join me in person or online at my first State of the University address on May 3 at noon in Convocation Hall. I will share my reflections on our progress to date and a vision for the  university's next five years. Please register for the event here.

I look forward to gathering together as a community at Convocation Hall.

Bill Flanagan
President and Vice-Chancellor