Facing the future with hope

April 06, 2021

In March, we marked the one-year anniversary of SFU’s transition to remote work and learning and reflected on a truly unconventional year. Thinking back on all that we accomplished together, I am once again filled with pride and gratitude for the SFU community.  

Following Dr. Bonnie Henry’s announcement that colleges and universities should prepare for a full return to on-campus education this September, VP Academic Catherine Dauvergne shared in a message to the campus community that we are working towards a return to our campuses in September. 

I’m grateful for the people and teams across SFU who are working hard to coordinate a safe, positive return to in-person activities. I know our community will address this new challenge with the same spirit, passion and determination that we have shown over the past year. 

Last month also saw many causes for celebration. At the annual SFU Awards Dinner, we honoured the work of SFU community members who have gone above and beyond to support students, advance critical research, and keep us connected. We recognized the contributions of self-identified women at SFU on International Women’s Day. And we participated in the annual Printemps de la Francophonie, organized by the Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs (OFFA). One of the things I’m proud of at SFU is our efforts to increase access to education in French within Canada, and especially the work OFFA does to create learning opportunities for both our French-speaking students and those curious about learning in French. 

At the same time, tragic events in Atlanta, Georgia contributed to growing concern around the rise of anti-Asian racism in Canada and the United States. As we think about SFU’s future and a return to campus, equity, diversity and inclusion continues to be one of my main priorities. I was heartened this month to hear all the engagement and feedback from our community as we begin the search for SFU’s first Vice-President People, Equity and Inclusion, and look forward to further discussions around how we can create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus. 

As the days get longer and warmer, I am feeling positive about the future. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but a lot to look forward to as well. 

I can’t wait to see you in September. Until then, please continue to stay safe and take good care of yourselves and each other.