Read Joy's thoughts on current events and topics, reports to SFU's Board of Governors and messages sent to the SFU community.

Messages to the community




  • December 01, 2022

    I encourage everyone in the SFU community to read an important statement by Yabome Gilpin-Jackson. I stand by SFU’s commitments to anti-racism and anti-oppression of all forms, and to implementing our zero-tolerance policies as appropriate.

  • October 04, 2022

    Last week, I shared an update about what we’ve heard to date so far as part of SFU: What’s Next?, and today I want to provide more information about important work that is already underway to address your feedback and create change at the university.

  • September 29, 2022

    I hope you are having a great start to the term! I have really enjoyed seeing so many students on campus again and meeting many of you in person during our Month of Welcome.

  • September 29, 2022

    Since we launched SFU: What’s Next? in March, I’ve spent many hours reading feedback from and listening to faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners on the future of SFU.

  • July 19, 2022

    I am pleased to share that at the last Board meeting, the SFU Board of Governors approved a motion that will see SFU pursue certification to become a Living Wage Employer through Living Wage for Families BC.

  • July 14, 2022

    One of my favourite parts of my job is getting to connect with the people who make our SFU community so special.

  • June 21, 2022

    June 21 marks National Indigenous Peoples Day. Today, across the university we honour the history, culture, resilience and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.

  • March 22, 2022

    As president of SFU, one of my jobs is to tell the story of this university—to explain to the world who we are, where we’ve been, and perhaps most importantly, where we’re going.

  • February 24, 2022

    Yesterday evening, I was deeply concerned to hear news about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since then, many world leaders have called for an immediate end to the conflict. SFU echoes those calls for peace.

  • February 08, 2022

    Over a long and meaningful connection with SFU, Chris (Syeta’xtn) Lewis has served in an ever-growing list of roles and been a deeply valued counsellor and advisor to senior leadership at SFU. In his newest role, Director, Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation, Syeta’xtn will continue to advise the President and senior leadership.

  • January 05, 2022

    Following extensive community consultation, an international search, and approval of the SFU Board of Governors, Dr. Yabome Gilpin-Jackson will be SFU’s first Vice-President, People, Equity and Inclusion (VPPEI). She will begin April 15, 2022.

  • Read more about Dr. Yabome Gilpin-Jackson, SFU’s first Vice-President, People, Equity and Inclusion.


  • December 23, 2021

    SFU will begin the spring term with a temporary, two-week shift to remote learning and teaching for lectures and seminars. These temporary measures will be in effect January 10 – 24.

  • December 20, 2021

    I’m finding it difficult to come up with a few short sentences to sum up the extraordinary year we’ve had together.

  • November 29, 2021

    Earlier this year, a group of community members from across the university was brought together to provide recommendations for how we can have a meaningful conversation with the SFU community about personal safety on our campuses.

  • November 01, 2021

    University takes the next step in multi-year carbon reduction strategy.

  • October 13, 2021

    These past weeks have been a whirlwind of activity! It is invigorating to see our campuses once again bustling with life and energy.

  • October 04, 2021

    This week, we are launching Inclusion benefits us all: a collection of tools, resources and actions each of us can take to ensure that others feel safe, welcome and included at SFU.

  • September 27, 2021

    SFU and the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) are united in a shared commitment to take action regarding the climate crisis. Student advocates have been a critical part of informing and influencing the actions of the university throughout our history, and together we celebrate significant achievements.

  • September 27, 2021

    September 30th this year marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day. It is a time for reflection and a time to come together in the spirit of reconciliation, and to honour those who have been impacted by Canada’s residential school system.

  • September 10, 2021

    This past May, I responded to the leaders of the Contract Workers Justice group about their call to transfer cleaning and food service staff to be employees of SFU. In the letter that followed our meeting, we committed to begin work on a case for change in the Fall of 2021, with more information about the university’s financial outlook.

  • September 07, 2021

    As we return to campus this week, whether you’re reacquainting yourself with favourite spots or meeting colleagues in person for the first time, welcome back!

  • September 02, 2021

    As we approach the beginning of the fall term, we continue to prepare our campuses for the return of students, faculty and staff.

  • August 26, 2021

    Thank you all for your patience. There are many moving pieces regarding our return to campus. I am heartened by the public health announcements of the past week and am confident we are taking the necessary steps to make our campuses safe.

  • August 24, 2021

    New measures announced today contribute significantly to our layers of protection. I am grateful to each of you for doing your part to keep one another safe as we return to in-person experiences over the next couple of weeks.

  • August 23, 2021

    Today the Provincial Health Officer announced the BC Vaccine Card, which will be implemented beginning September 13 for discretionary activities and events during this period of high risk.

  • August 18, 2021

    As president of SFU, I am proud of the diversity of our community. Our students, faculty and staff come from countries around the world, and they bring important knowledge and ideas with them. Indeed, a research university cannot flourish without global knowledge and ideas.

  • August 12, 2021

    Thank you for your letter and for raising your concerns and suggestions. These issues are also on my mind, and I value the opportunity to hear from you and share some of my perspectives as well.

  • July 07, 2021

    I am pleased to announce that Dr. June Francis will serve as the Special Advisor to the President on Anti-Racism effective June 1 – December 31, 2021.

  • June 24, 2021

    Today, for the second time in as many months, we are hearing more sad and disturbing news of the discovery of additional unmarked graves, with 751 Indigenous children and adults found by the Cowessess First Nation at the former Marieval Indian Residential School.

  • June 15, 2021

    Join me as we visit some of my favourite spots on campus and say thank you to members of our community who have been supporting students, staff and faculty through the pandemic.

  • June 09, 2021

    Over the past week, our communities have grieved the discovery of the 215 children who died at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. And while we continue to grieve and stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities, this is also a time to commit to concrete action.

  • May 31, 2021

    As we continue to grieve the enormous loss discovered at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, and reflect on the lasting devastation caused by residential schools, I am holding Indigenous students, faculty, staff and community members in my thoughts.

  • May 07, 2021

    Like many of you, I have spent much of my time over the past month thinking about and planning for our return to campus in September.

  • April 30, 2021

    As a university deeply committed to engaging the communities we serve, SFU is uniquely positioned to help in this larger effort of pandemic recovery. We have to build back better to create a more prosperous, resilient and inclusive future.

  • April 08, 2021

    SFU has consistently raised concerns over the TransMountain Expansion Project specific to the tank farm and the risk it poses to our community. In my role as the new president of SFU I would like to reiterate that the University remains opposed to anything that increases the risk to our community.

  • April 06, 2021

    As the days get longer and warmer, I am feeling positive about the future. Teams across the university are working hard to coordinate a safe return to our campuses in September. I know our community will address this new challenge with the same innovative spirit, passion and determination that we have shown over the past year.

  • March 11, 2021

    In December I commissioned an external review of the events that occurred the evening of December 11 on Burnaby campus, which led to an RCMP response. I know that many members of our community have been seeking to understand what occurred in greater detail. The review has been completed and the summary is available to the SFU community.

  • March 04, 2021

    This month we mark the anniversary of the most difficult year in recent memory. These past 12 months we’ve been compelled to learn some powerful lessons while continually innovating. Looking back on the monumental efforts put forth by all of us in the most challenging of circumstances, I’m filled with pride and gratitude.

  • February 08, 2021

    I’ve just wrapped up a series of internal engagement meetings–over 40 in all–with groups across the university, to get to know you and share my priorities. I’m grateful to everyone who participated and for your thoughtful comments and questions.

  • February 02, 2021

    February is Black History Month, a time to honour the extraordinary contributions of Black Canadians and a time to recommit to the work of dismantling anti-Black racism.

  • January 08, 2021

    On behalf of all of us at SFU, I am pleased to welcome you to the next stage of your academic journey. I hope you and your loved ones had a wonderful, warm and safe holiday season, and that you took time to rest and relax.

  • January 06, 2021

    An unsettling event involving a Black SFU alumnus, campus security and the RCMP occurred in the Burnaby campus dining hall recently, and is raising important questions about our processes and protocols.


  • December 21, 2020

    As 2020 comes to a close, I am filled with gratitude for the Simon Fraser University community. You have shown tremendous dedication and resolve during an unpredictable and challenging year.

  • December 13, 2020

    An unsettling event involving a Black SFU alumnus, campus security and the RCMP occurred in the Burnaby campus dining hall recently, and is raising important questions about our processes and protocols.

  • December 03, 2020

    In mid-November, I had the honour of hosting a panel on mental health in times of adversity. I was joined at the SFU Alumni event by social scientist Dr. Yabome Gilpin-Jackson, Coast Mental Health CEO Darrell Burnham and psychologist Dr. Joti Samra (all brilliant SFU alumni).

  • November 10, 2020

    During the first two months of my presidency, you will probably have heard me speak about equity, diversity and inclusion. These issues are a priority for me, in part, because they are personal.

  • November 10, 2020

    This summer, SFU announced the decision to retire the former name of our varsity athletics teams. A report was commissioned, and dozens of interviews with and comments from community members informed the final decision. Though I was not president at the time this decision was taken, I am in strong support of the change.

  • November 02, 2020

    I’ve been meeting with student groups, faculty, and staff over the past two months, and hearing about the challenges associated with remote learning and work. I can relate. It has not been easy. People are working at their kitchen tables while balancing family needs, students are juggling course loads and considering their futures, and we all feel uncertain.

  • 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.

  • September 08, 2020

    A central role of universities and their members is to address pressing societal issues. As critical thinkers who seek to improve our society, members of our community will not only participate in these conversations, but lead and advance them.

  • September 01, 2020

    At SFU, curiosity and critical inquiry are central to fulfilling our academic purpose and our drive to engage with the world around us. The pursuit of knowledge and understanding requires the freedom to question conventional thinking and inherited truths, including ideas that are held beyond reproach.

  • September 01, 2020

    Hi everyone. I’m Joy Johnson, and as of today, I am the president of SFU. I want to start this fall term and my new role by simply saying thank you. Over the past five months, I’ve watched with pride as you have responded to student needs with dedication, creativity and flexibility, delivered a world-class education under changing conditions, and carried on with the research and innovation that our world needs more than ever.

  • September 01, 2020

    Hi everyone, I’m Joy Johnson, the new president of SFU. Welcome to the fall 2020 term. For returning students, I know how challenging the spring and summer were. Pivoting to online classes while balancing personal needs was one of the biggest challenges many of us have faced. I’m so proud of your resilience, and I’m excited to start this fall term with you.