Another September has arrived and with it the start of another academic year. This year is not, however, like any other.

The global pandemic continues, and the fourth wave spurred on by the Delta variant has created further challenges. For many on campus, the summer months were not as restful and rejuvenating as we would have liked.

My first year at Carleton has coincided with a tremendously challenging time for everyone. What I have learned through this past year, however, is that the Carleton community is strong and that its staff, faculty and students are resilient. The ability to adapt quickly and frequently to different situations has been demonstrated again and again since March of last year by students, faculty and support staff alike. And while there is no question that the next few months will be challenging as we navigate a safe return to campus, I have every expectation that the community’s resilience and strength will carry us through.

The pandemic has unquestionably made clear that the mission of the Faculty of Public Affairs — to produce research to build better societies and stronger democracies in collaboration with the community, to foster informed citizenship, to address regional and global challenges, and to enhance and inform public discussion — has never been more important. The programs housed in the Faculty of Public Affairs focus on the government and civil society institutions necessary for addressing society’s challenge.

We welcome the many students joining us on campus this fall both face to face and online with this mission in mind. Whether as an undergraduate or graduate student, you join a faculty committed to the challenge of building better societies and stronger democracies.

We are ready to welcome you. Are you ready for the challenge?

Please keep well and stay safe.

Brenda O’Neill
Dean, Faculty of Public Affairs