Welcoming Joy Johnson, SFU's 10th President

September 02, 2020

In my last blog post, I thanked Andrew Petter for his decade-long dedication and hard work as the 9th president of SFU and discussed how the vision of an ‘engaged university’ has helped the Surrey campus grow and develop to become a post-secondary education leader in the region.

On behalf of the Surrey campus community, it’s my pleasure to welcome Joy Johnson, whose term as SFU’s 10th president began on September 1.

As you know, Joy is no stranger to SFU or to the Surrey campus community. As the university’s Vice-President, Research and International for the past six years, she established SFU Innovates, a university-wide strategy to engage SFU researchers, staff and students with communities and partners to tackle society’s pressing challenges. SFU Innovates has helped the university work with Surrey’s business, government and community partners in developing health care technologies, creating more sustainable and greener communities, advancing the region’s creative economy and inspiring a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs at the Surrey campus.

For many years, Joy has been involved in numerous on and off campus events in Surrey, ranging from research funding announcements to community events. One of my greatest memories was co-hosting the SFU Surrey President’s Gala with Joy as we celebrated SFU’s 50th anniversary. We had so much fun reminiscing about other events and happenings that turned 50 in the same year (can you say The Sound of Music?). More recently, last fall it was such an honour to have Joy walk with our campus community in a drumming procession to Surrey City Hall in recognition of Orange Shirt Day.

Having put her stamp on SFU’s research reputation and her work engaging with Surrey’s diverse communities, I’m excited to work with Joy on the areas that she’s noted as her priorities for her presidency: improving student experience, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and Aboriginal reconciliation—all areas that are of great importance for the Surrey community. From improved student study spaces, Indigenizing both Surrey campus buildings, and creating more spaces for dialogues around inclusion and diversity, I am confident that the Surrey campus community will help her to fulfill those priorities in Surrey.

In closing, and on a personal note, I’d like to wish Joy much success in her new role as president and I look forward to supporting her efforts to grow and develop the Surrey campus in the months and years ahead.