Inspired by meetings with SFU Faculty and Staff

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.

Many have asked if SFU will return to ‘business as usual,’ or whether we’ll embrace remote learning and work after the pandemic. We’ve learned a lot of lessons from the pandemic, and found creative and meaningful ways to engage, work, and study remotely, so I’m interested in how this might continue. That said, I can assure you that SFU will always be a people organization and there will always be a demand for in-person instruction. The silver lining for me has been our ability to innovate and I’m excited to take what we have learned moving forward.

I’ve truly appreciated the show of support for my priorities of enhancing the student experience, advancing reconciliation, and working towards equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism across SFU. Over the next several months, I’ll be meeting with the SFU community to gather input and ideas on how we can become a truly inclusive university. You can read my interview with SFU News to learn more.

Many have expressed concern for our students, and I’ve heard first-hand how students are struggling. We’ve enhanced online and in-person supports to help our students stay connected and weather the crisis and I know we are all looking forward to adding more on-campus activities in the summer and fall. We’re following the guidelines of public health authorities, and the safety of the SFU community remains a priority.

There’s been a huge amount of interest in the proposed medical school at SFU, and it’s an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It will take time to complete the process for this uniquely SFU program, but the discussions have begun. I can tell you that it will be a generalist program, in partnership with Fraser Health and the First Nations Health Authority and will focus on community-based outcomes. Stay tuned for more details.

As I’ve met with faculty and staff over the past several months, I’ve been inspired by your dedication to SFU and your commitment to our students, our communities, and each other. We’ve demonstrated time and again that together we can make great things happen and I’m excited about what more we’ll accomplish in the near future.