Over my first 100 days at Brock, I have had the great pleasure of spending a lot of time with faculty, librarians, and instructors across the university, including at meetings of Chairs and Directors, Faculty councils or executive committees, individual departments, and affinity groups such as our experiential education faculty champions and the Library’s scholarship of teaching & learning group. I have thoroughly enjoyed our conversations at events such as Fall Convocation, Teaching Day, and Fall Preview Day, and in the hallways both at our main campus and at the downtown Marilyn I. Walker School. I want to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude for the warmth of your welcome and the honour of your confidence in sharing both your current instructional needs, and your future aspirations for our university community.
In addition to getting to know my exemplary teams within the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation and Co-op, Career, and Experiential Education and their operations, much of my initial work has focused on consultations and related revisions of our draft academic plan. As you will see, the draft plan draws on the lessons of the pandemic and takes seriously our ethical obligations in relation to the educational calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and as a signatory to the Scarborough Charter. It aims to play a leading role in fostering progressive change, as well as to prioritize care, especially for the most marginalized members of our university community.
I am pleased to report that over the past two months, the draft plan has also been reviewed and discussed at seven Senate committees, culminating in an engaging generative discussion at Senate. All this thoughtful feedback is now informing the final revisions, which will be considered by Senate’s Planning, Priorities, and Budget Advisory Committee in December. As we move towards the approval of the plan, I want to recognize the excitement I have witnessed across the university as our community members have seen their aspirations and priorities reflected in the draft plan’s five priorities and associated actions. I look forward to working closely with partners across the university to operationalize each of the actions in the draft plan, while keeping the campus community informed with regular updates. Although there is a lot of good work ahead of us, it is heartening that every step on this journey will help build a more supportive and inclusive environment while offering a more transformational and accessible university experience.
For now, I wish you a wonderful end of term and hope to see many of you online at CPI’s upcoming Tribute to Teaching on December 12.
Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani
Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning