June 7, 2022

Good morning everyone,

It’s hard to believe that we are in June already and that the academic year 2021-22 has come to an end. Notwithstanding challenging circumstances, it has been another great year for Carleton and, as always, I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone in the community for your continued creativity, flexibility and care for one another. With summer on the horizon, I encourage our faculty and staff to plan for long and restful holidays – we all need it!

We will have an opportunity to share our appreciation for our extraordinary community during this year’s Appreciation Week 2022 beginning June 27. In addition, Thursday, June 30 will be an Appreciation Day holiday in recognition of everyone’s exceptional efforts again this year. Employees who need to work on this day to ensure our continued operations should discuss an alternative date off with their managers.

Everything indicates that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us, and I am excited that for the first time since 2019, Carleton will be holding in person Convocation. We are calling it “super-convocation” with ceremonies for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 to be held from June 13 to 17, and ceremonies for the Class of 2022, as approved by Senate last week, to be held from June 20 to 24. Congratulations to all graduates!

I am thrilled that we will be able to celebrate the accomplishments of our students together and I look forward to seeing you at one or more of these 40 (!) ceremonies. To ensure the safety of our community, following public health recommendations, we will be maintaining mask mandates throughout Convocation.

I am also pleased to share that we will be awarding seven honorary doctorates during Convocation: Carleton professor emeritus John ApSimon; award-winning health journalist Helen Branswell; developer and sports executive Roger Greenberg; author and entrepreneur Janice McDonald; digital technology trailblazer Claudette McGowan; Cree Nation Government executive director Bill Namagoose; and the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien, former Prime Minister of Canada.

Another sign that we are slowly coming back to normal is that access to our famed tunnels is planned to resume on Monday, June 13. New exhaust fans and air handling units have been installed throughout the entire tunnel system.

Throughout June, we will also be celebrating Pride Month, an opportunity to show our respect and support for all members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. June is also National Indigenous History Month — an opportunity for all Canadians to recognize and reflect on the rich history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples across Canada. In this context, it is a particular pleasure for me to share this truly encouraging progress report on our Kinàmàgawin strategy.

Among many other recent accomplishments, let me highlight the release of the new Student Mental Health Framework 2022-2026 which provides 30 recommendations and strives to promote a more holistic and intersectional approach to student mental health and wellness by coordinating programs, services and initiatives to build skills and foster resilience.

Looking back, it’s been a successful and impressive year for Carleton, in so many ways. The recently released President’s Annual Report 2022 attempts to capture some of these highlights. Notably, our research community established yet another record-breaking year in research funding at $97.4 million, an incredible increase of 79% since 2018. We can also take pride that our commitment to sustainability was recognized with a STARS gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. And for the third straight season and the 16th time in the last 19 years, our Ravens men’s basketball team won the USPORTS National Championship. Go Ravens!

Thank you all very much for all your outstanding contributions to the Carleton community. Take care, have a great day and a wonderful summer!


Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor