Reflections on my first 30 days

October 05, 2020

October 1st marked my first 30 days as SFU president. I want to thank everyone for your warm welcome, kind messages and support. It has been a busy, productive and rewarding month.

At the start or the term, I attended virtual welcome events with students. I was excited to see so many of our students, particularly those just starting their post-secondary journey. Their enthusiasm and compassion was inspiring, and having that time together really lifted me up. I also learned about the many ways SFU is supporting students during these challenging times. I greatly appreciate the collective efforts of our faculty and staff over these past weeks and months to provide the best learning experiences possible and doing so with such care and integrity.

It was an honour to attend the First Peoples House Ground Awakening and Orange Shirt Day event on September 30 hosted by the Office for Aboriginal Peoples and to meet First Nations community members and partners. What a beautiful approach – a ground awakening. It was a moment to reflect on our reconciliation journey, how far we’ve come and where we can go in the future.

I chaired my first Senate meeting and attended my first Board of Governors meeting as president. It was impressive to see dedicated Senate and Board members moving the work of the university forward despite challenging circumstances. I attended an event to celebrate Pivot 2020, which will provide training, employment and co-op opportunities to youth across Canada, and celebrated the designation of SFU as Canada’s First Fair Trade Gold Campus with SFU Ancillary Services.

I have heard from many of you that the last few months have been challenging. But I’ve seen the outstanding competence, determination and warmth of the SFU community, and I am confident we can weather this crisis and emerge even stronger together.

Over the next few months I look forward to engaging with you via virtual meetings and events. Until then, please continue to stay safe, stay strong and take care.