Dear colleagues,

Let me begin with an acknowledgement of the tremendous human suffering and loss of life resulting from the violence in Israel and Gaza and offer my heartfelt condolences to all those who have been directly or indirectly affected by these horrendous events.

The impact is felt deeply across our community – one that includes Palestinians and Israelis, as well as people who have family and friends from and in Israel and Gaza. Our community is also made up of individuals of all faiths and backgrounds who have fled war-torn countries, survived violence, lost loved ones to geopolitical conflicts, grew up in families forever marked by intergenerational trauma, struggle with anxiety, depression and PTSD themselves, and have been targets of antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian racism, anti-Arab racism and other forms of hateful discrimination. Their feelings of fear, anger and grief in this moment are real and rooted in lived experiences which we must respect.

If you find yourself in need, please know that help is available at one of the following:

In these times, I find solace in reflecting on what makes Carleton special: our commitment to being a smart, caring community. Carleton is a place where we embrace diversity and create together through collaboration, mutual respect and compassion. As the world around us storms, we must hold firm and stand against all forms of hatred and nurture a space for safe and inclusive discussions. We must be leaders in respectfully living together. In that way, we will play a crucial role in the creation of a better tomorrow for all.

Last weekend we had a glimpse of what a better tomorrow might look like, as over 850 students of different faiths and nations came together and crossed the stage at our fall Convocation ceremony, their accomplishments and potential celebrated by family, friends and the university community. Student success, which is at the heart of our mission and purpose, continues to improve at Carleton; in 2021, 2022 and 2023, we celebrated the biggest graduation years in our institution’s history, with our current overall graduation rate rising to an all-time high of 73%.

At the other end of the academic journey, we welcomed 5,400 new undergraduate and 2,300 new graduate students to Carleton. And to support our students, we welcomed new faculty, librarians, instructors and professional staff to our ranks this past year, our team now made up of 3,400 talented, hardworking people who make this university the exceptional institution it is.

To support the efforts of our students, faculty and staff, new facilities continue to open, such as the Future Learning Lab in the MacOdrum Library and Experiential Learning Hub in Southam Hall, both key to enabling the university to deliver critically important immersive learning and teaching experiences.

Of course, many of the solutions required for a better tomorrow will come from research. And Carleton researchers continue to be recognized for their important work, including: faculty being named members of the Royal Society of Canada’s New College of Scholars, Artists and Scientists; the announcement of three new Canada Research Chairs; two prestigious Vanier scholarships; researchers receiving $1.65 million to address climate change in Arctic communities; $2.5 million to fund research on prison transparency, and so much more.

As we move towards the end of the term, I count on our incredible community to continue to respect and support each other. Wishing you all the very best as we head into the winter season and a strong conclusion to the fall term.

Warm regards,

Jerry Tomberlin
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor
Office of the President