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April 3, 2020
Good morning everybody,
March is a tough month at the best of times, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who experienced a measure of relief when we moved into April earlier this week. The pace of change in the last three weeks has been unprecedented, but we are coming through as a community. We are not out of the woods – far from it – but we can take a moment to acknowledge the collective resilience and adaptability we have shown in the face of these unsettling times.
We are safely and successfully completing the winter semester, with the vast majority of us working and studying remotely. We have put in place flexible and compassionate academic accommodation and grading options for our students. We have taken steps to ensure our campus remains safe. We successfully held our Senate meeting remotely. We have postponed, but not cancelled, our Spring Convocation. And in collaboration with our contract instructors and faculty members, we have a plan to remotely deliver a high-quality summer term for our students.
Through it all, we found ways to advance our academic mission, introduce new talent to Carleton and, most importantly, continue to be a force for good in our community. Today, as we head into the weekend and the end of term, I want to focus on these good news stories.
This week we welcomed two fantastic new leaders to our community. Brenda O’Neill will serve as dean of our unique and distinctive Faculty of Public Affairs starting Oct. 1, 2020. Dani Sinclair will coach our Ravens Women’s Basketball team next year.
On the heels of a record-breaking year, our researchers continue to show remarkable success in attracting funding, a proxy for research quality and impact. Many good news stories remain under embargo, but today we can offer sincere congratulations to seven amazing researchers for their recent NSERC grants, including Prof. Murray Richardson, who is working in Iqaluit, Nunavut to improve photogrammetry methods for studying Arctic tundra watersheds.
And among so many initiatives to help out in our community, I note that our Campus Safety Services team has co-ordinated not one, but two deliveries of protective personal equipment for frontline healthcare workers at Ottawa hospitals. Our students Taijah Cox-Armstrong and Rhea D’Souza delivered care packages to people without homes in our city. Prof. Jennifer Robson wrote an incredibly useful guide to help people access new government aid. Our experts, like Prof. Tim Pychyl, are also offering helpful advice for navigating challenge and uncertainty. And as I write this – more details to come – I hear our Chemistry Department is making hand sanitizer to share with hospitals and long-term care facilities!
As we continue to navigate these uncharted waters, we must continue to connect virtually and look out for each other. Our Hub for Good has started to collect inspirational Carleton stories of kindness and compassion, and we invite everyone to send examples of our community — our colleagues, students, alumni, and friends — helping one other, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, let’s talk about the people who are going out of their way to help make these unsettling times a little easier.
Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community.
I hope April brings better weather, and that we all soon get to enjoy the healing touch of a warm spring day. Have a good weekend everybody!
President and Vice-Chancellor