Thursday, May 28, 2020

Message from the President: As We Plan Ahead, Let’s Not Forget to Celebrate Success

May 28, 2020

Good morning everyone,

I can’t quite believe May is already almost over. As we enter what will be an unusual summer, I would like to encourage everyone to plan for some time off. A significant period of rest and recuperation is absolutely essential for our individual mental health, and for the continued shared wellbeing and success of our community. This is always true, but especially so this year, and I personally plan to enjoy a few weeks of “staycation” in July.

Once again, I would like to encourage students who have not been able to find summer employment to apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit, part of the $9-billion aid package for students recently announced by the federal government. If there are delays in accessing these funds, Carleton continues to provide assistance through the Carleton Student Emergency Fund.

Work has started in earnest on implementing the 10 recommendations of the recent report of the Carleton University Scenario Planning (CUSP) group. We have been able to confirm, for both undergraduate and graduate students, that all scheduled courses will be online in the fall. The full timetable will be available June 8 in anticipation of registration starting June 23. We are also actively preparing to partially reopen our physical spaces and resume some on-campus activities, notably research, as it progressively becomes safe to do so over the coming months.

I am grateful to all course instructors and instructional designers who are already putting significant thought and efforts into preparing outstanding online courses and an inclusive learning environment for the fall. Likewise, many thanks to units who have transitioned their excellent support services online so that our students can continue to access quality online academic advising, virtual mental health counselling and support, creative virtual social spaces and activities, and more.

Among many success stories in transitioning online, our superb MacOdrum Library, under the leadership of our new University Librarian Amber Lannon, has devised many creative and powerful ways to offer extensive online resources and services to our community. Notably, Carleton is now a member of HathiTrust, a digital repository of millions of books, serials, and other materials from research institutions and libraries around the world. Our faculty, staff and students can now access digitized copies of over six million public-domain works and, for a limited time, digitized copies of almost 500,000 works from Carleton’s print collection.

As you know, we had to postpone our Spring Convocation to a later time. I would like to reiterate that this is a postponement and not a cancellation, and we remain committed to providing our students with the well-deserved opportunity to walk across the stage in a future Convocation ceremony. In the meantime, we will be virtually celebrating the success of our graduates in a timely way – as soon as Senate approves the June graduation list on June 19 – and more information will be provided shortly.

Any questions you may have that are not answered by Carleton’s COVID-19 information website and its FAQ section should be forwarded to covidinfo@carleton.ca.

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.

As we take steps to prepare for the 2020-21 academic year, we should not forget to celebrate the success we have enjoyed this year. It has been a great year and it should not be reduced, in our collective memories, to the current public health crisis.

Among other achievements, we have reached a new high in research funding, a proxy of research excellence and impact, with $81.7 million in 2019. This represents a spectacular two-year compounded increase of 50 per cent and we can all take pride. Let me also highlight our continued progress in health and wellness, sustainability, and of course Indigenous initiatives – embodied by the recently released Kinàmàgawin (Learning Together) report.

Please have a look at the brand new Carleton University President’s Report 2020 that attempts to capture some of the highlights of a memorable year. With many thanks to each and every member of our community for everything you do. You make Carleton great!

Stay safe everyone, and have a wonderful day,

Benoit

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

Thursday, May 28, 2020 in , , , , , , , , ,
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