As a historian, I spend a lot of time thinking about the experiences of ordinary men and women in sixteenth century English communities. As Dean of the largest faculty at Simon Fraser University, I spend a lot of time thinking about my colleagues in Economics, Philosophy, First Nations, and Psychology, to name but a few of the Departments I serve. As a teacher, few things excite me more than the feeling of the start of a new semester and the privilege it is to meet and work with lively, inquiring young minds. Universities are unique places of engagement, for scholars, staff and students. Although the idea of a community of scholars is ancient, public universities in Canada play a vital role in the creation of civil society, of engaged and thoughtful citizens.
Those of us who have had the privilege of attending university are bound together in a variety of ways. A central connection is a commitment to the life of the mind. Whether you are a current student or an alumnus, a colleague, a benefactor, or a friend, identifying with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences means finding your place within a community of scholars in ways both simple and profound: a commitment to reading; writing and thinking; to the analysis of data and the testing of hypotheses; challenging sloppy thinking and mendacious claims; and communicating effectively with our students, peers, and the wider community. It is a lifetime of learning that is full of possibilities.
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences