The road ahead

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.

Thank you to all the faculty and staff who attended our return to campus townhall on April 13. We held this townhall so that the SFU executive team could hear from you, and I appreciate that you came with honest questions and genuine concern for the well-being of your colleagues and students.

I also recognize the frustration of asking a question and having the answer be “we don’t know yet” or “it depends.” Unfortunately, that is the reality of the time we’re living through. But over the past year we have become familiar with managing in uncertainty, and although we will face challenges as we prepare to return in September, I know we are equipped to address them. 

I shared our return to campus planning frameworks in a message to the community earlier in April, and we launched our Return to Campus website last week. I encourage you to visit the site and learn more about our new staged approach to the resumption of on-campus activities. And please continue to visit the site and check your email so you can be informed about the latest updates.

As we move forward, I want to assure you that the physical and emotional well-being of our faculty, staff and students is at the heart of our planning. We are considering a wide variety of factors, including the rate of community transmission, vaccination and public health orders. I am doing everything in my power to ensure that our return is safe, equitable, and informed by the best possible information. 

During my presidency so far, I have repeatedly expressed how inspired I am by our vibrant and passionate community. Time and time again, I’ve seen faculty and staff pull together to take care of each other, find innovative ways to support students, and push for real, systemic change in this institution and the world.

It is the strength, kindness and care of the SFU community that has brought us this far. I am so proud of the work we have done together. And whatever the future holds, I know I will be proud of the work we do together in the months to come.