October 26, 2021

Good morning everyone,

Let me start by sincerely thanking everyone for making our safe and gradual return to campus and the beginning of our academic year so successful. As always, I am truly grateful for all your efforts in the Carleton spirit of creativity, flexibility and compassion. We are already halfway through the fall term and I hope you are all enjoying our annual fall break this week. This is always a welcome opportunity to catch our breath and take stock of how things are going, and I take this opportunity to remind everyone of the many services and programs available to support our students and ourselves.

On the other side of fall break is November already, and we will quickly come into the exam period and then some well-deserved winter holidays. As announced earlier this week, in an attempt to give people as long a break as possible, the university will be closed from December 24 to January 4, inclusive, reopening on January 5, 2022.

Preparation for the winter term is already well underway. As per past practice, the Carleton University Scenario Planning (CUSP) Working Group has formulated its recommendations for winter 2022, namely that our safe and gradual return to campus continues to unfold, with a mix of in-person and online courses to ensure maximum flexibility for students. These recommendations were confirmed by Senate last week. I take this opportunity to thank everyone working towards optimizing our winter 2022 schedule, which should be finalized and posted by mid-November.

At that same meeting, Senate also approved the last group of students to graduate in the class of 2021 – our largest ever at over 6800 strong! As previously announced, due to current public health restrictions, it will not be possible to hold in-person fall Convocation ceremonies this November, but we will be hosting virtual graduation celebrations for our fall 2021 graduates on November 13 – more details will soon be available on the Convocation website.

A reminder that two very important community consultations are taking place this fall: (1) We recently announced the process towards updating our Student Mental Health Framework (SMHF) to version 3.0; and (2) Carleton is also launching a broad and inclusive consultation process towards the next iteration of the Sexual Violence Policy, which we are committed to reviewing every 3 years. In both cases, members of the Carleton community are encouraged to review the draft plan outlining the proposed consultation process and to provide feedback through the consultation website.

Our institution has also received great national reviews this fall: The Maclean’s Rankings 2022 are out and we maintained our top 5 ranking. Carleton made gains in several key categories including research (both on the SSHRC and NSERC side), student awards, Indigenous initiatives and reputation. And last week, Excellence Canada announced that Carleton is the first university to receive two important certifications relating to our commitment to wellness in the workplace: The Order of Excellence in Healthy Workplace and Platinum level in Mental Health at Work.

In closing, our annual United Way campaign opens today and will run until November 12. This is an important Carleton tradition of helping people in need in our community and I invite everyone to participate in all the events organized by members of our community, such as the MacOdrum Library online auction. And registration is open for the launch of the university’s new Centre for Community Engagement (CCE) happening on October 27. Join inaugural Director Prof. Chantal Trudel to learn about the Centre, share your experiences and ideas, and participate in thematic workshops that reflect an impressive breadth of the amazing community engagement expertise across Carleton.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy the fall break!


Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor