Memos

Latest memo from the president's office:


Nominate your star students for IMPACT Awards 

January 25, 2022

This spring, the Dalhousie community will celebrate some of our outstanding students as part of the 11th annual IMPACT Awards.   

The IMPACT Awards recognize students and student societies from across the university for their exceptional extracurricular contributions, not only to Dalhousie, but to local, provincial, national, and global communities. In order to properly recognize our stars, we need to hear from you.  

If you have worked with a student, or students, whose contributions deserve to be recognized — particularly during the collective challenges we have faced over the past two years — I encourage you to nominate them for an IMPACT Award before the Feb. 21 deadline.  

Information about all of the awards, along with nomination forms, can be found at dal.ca/impact.  

Please help us celebrate our impressive students and share their inspiring stories.  

Sincerely,  

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor   

2021 Archives  

Happy Holidays


December 22, 2021

As we look ahead to the upcoming winter break, I wanted to share my very best wishes for you and your loved ones for the holiday season.   

While this year has given us much to celebrate, it has not been without significant challenges as we continue to adjust our plans in response to the pandemic.   

I recognize that this is not the end of term we had in mind. The latest changes due to the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases in our community and across the province and country are necessary to keep everyone safe. But we take these measures with full appreciation and empathy for the impact they have on our students, faculty and staff after an already busy fall.

It is our people who make Dalhousie great. While I know our community has always been dedicated and hard-working, the last two years have demanded more of us than ever before. Please know how grateful we are for your ongoing commitment to Dalhousie as you simultaneously face complications in your own lives due to the pandemic.   

In times like these, it can be challenging to truly unplug, rest and recharge — yet, at the same time, it is more important than ever to do so. If possible, I encourage you to take the time you need for yourself while the university is closed.   

Whatever the new year brings, I have no doubt that we will continue to both meet new challenges and seize new opportunities together.   

Please stay safe, enjoy a restful break, and happy holidays.   

Sincerely,  

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor  

IMPORTANT COVID-19 update: In-person exams ceasing Tuesday; additional instructions for residence, students, faculty/staff, etc.


December 13, 2021

We continue to closely monitor the emerging COVID-19 cases in our community and on our campuses. Since our last update on Saturday, we have seen an increase in confirmed and presumptive cases among our student community, and one initial presumptive case among faculty/staff. We have also been in ongoing conversations with Public Health and the provincial government on our collective response to keep our students, faculty, staff and community safe.   

Out of an abundance of caution, Dalhousie is implementing the following measures: 

  • With a few limited exceptions, today (Monday, Dec. 13) is the last day for In-person exams. All remaining December exams (originally scheduled for Tuesday and all subsequent dates) will be online, postponed or cancelled. Where in-person assessments are physically required, students will be contacted and expected to attend in person. 
    • Recognizing that time is required to plan and support this change, please be patient as you await further instructions. Faculty and staff should expect to hear from the Registrar’s Office via Associate Deans Academic about their options. Students should expect to hear from their instructors directly. 
  • Residences remain open as we support all students, including those who are self-isolating. Students in residence will be receiving additional information today and should be completing regular rapid tests. 
    • We are recommending that faculty and staff who can work remotely should do so and be prepared to do so until the new year. Please consult with your supervisor or administrative head for direction on whether any in-person services that you are currently providing can be moved online.
    • Research spaces remain open but all appropriate safety precautions such as masking, hand-washing and social distancing (where possible) should be followed.  
    • Many campus services will likely shift or modify their mode of delivery over the coming days. Please refer to specific campus services for instruction. We will also aim to update the Campus Services page on the COVID-19 website as information becomes available. 

We have a great deal of confidence in our institutional safety plan, guided by the approved postsecondary framework and Public Health advice. However, the speed at which this emerging COVID-19 situation is moving asks us to take these strong measures to support our community’s safety while ensuing continuity of university operations.   

We understand these developments are concerning, particularly as they come at the end of term right before the December break. But this is a situation we anticipated was possible and have prepared for. Our top priority remains everyone’s safety and well-being. Now more than ever, everyone must follow Public Health and university safety protocols, including masks and rules/restrictions in residences.

Now is also the time to get tested. This is particularly important for our students who may be coming in contact with COVID-19 through their peer group. Identifying cases through rapid testing, before any symptoms, can help stop the spread. If you are on-campus, please pick up and complete two free rapid tests this week. Rapid tests are also available in the community, including at community libraries. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms or are told you are a close contact, self-isolate immediately and book a PCR (lab) test.    

Below is a more detailed summary of current information. Please review relevant items carefully.

Cases and exposures  

As of 3 p.m. Monday afternoon, the following confirmed and presumptive cases have been reported to the university:  

 

Confirmed cases

(Positive PCR test)

Additional presumptive cases
(positive rapid test awaiting PCR results)

Residence students

6

25

Off-campus students

7

6

Faculty and staff

0

1

TOTAL

13

32

All students in residence who have tested positive with either a rapid or a PCR test are self-isolating and receiving support from the Residence Life team. We thank all students for getting tested and cooperating in our efforts to keep our community safe.   

We have been made aware of one positive rapid test among our faculty/staff community. That individual is self-isolating and awaiting a PCR test result.  

All cases remain under investigation, and Public Health has not provided Dalhousie with any additional information to share at this time about the source of these cases or their transmission. Because of the spike in testing and positive cases across the province, Public Health is experiencing some delays in follow up with close contacts. If you are informed that you have been a close contact, either by Public Health or someone who has tested positive please self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test.   

Please check our exposure webpage regularly for updates and instructions. Public Health will inform the university of any precaution or exposure notifications related to these cases.   

Precaution notifications are currently posted for shared spaces in the Killam, Mona Campbell and Tupper buildings, as well as a close-contact exposure notification at Dalplex.   

We also remind everyone to pay close attention to community exposures at this time, as updates related to current cases are being added daily.  

Exams  

In-person exams will cease effective 8 a.m. Tuesday, December 14. Remaining December exams will be online, postponed or cancelled — with exceptions in select accredited programs where physical in-person assessments are required. In these exceptions, students will be contacted and expected to attend in person.

The Registrar’s Office is working through the implication of this decision. Guidance will be provided directly to instructors through Associate Deans Academic as to how to manage exams that were originally scheduled for in-person.  

Students: you should expect to hear from your instructor in the coming days on next steps. Please have patience as we work through the details with your instructor; once an alternative plan has been developed, your instructor will contact the class with details.  

For students who are unable to complete exams due to a confirmed case of COVID-19, a sick note is not required. The requirement for a sick note was previously waived for the fall term and exam period. All students must inform their instructors. For residence students, please ensure you have contacted Residence Life at 902-220-9038 and for off-campus students, please inform the university through Student Health & Wellness of your illness.   

Residence  

This is a challenging time for our residence community, and our entire residence team is dedicated to supporting the safety and comfort of our students — including those who are self-isolating. 

  • All residence students are reminded to keep getting tested regularly. Rapid tests are being supplied to the lobbies of all residence buildings.  
  • With the news of the revised approach to exams, we do not recommend changing your travel plans. Please, if at all possible, stick to your original departure date from residence. For students who are currently in self-isolation within residence, they will receive additional information today. 
  • It is likely most residence students who test positive via PCR test and are currently in self-isolation will be unable to travel home leading up to and potentially including the December break. Our community can be assured we will be doing everything we can to support these students through this difficult period.  

Testing  

Nova Scotia Public Health will be delivering additional supplies of rapid tests to our campuses today. By Tuesday we expect to have an additional 30,000 rapid tests available alongside our regular supply.   

We know our students, faculty and staff are great at getting tested — you’ve picked up or completed more than 65,000 rapid tests since the start of September. We’re depending on your enthusiasm for testing now more than ever. Whether you’re a regular or a first-time tester, now is the time to get tested.   

If you’re able to do so, we encourage you to pick up and complete a set of rapid tests (2) this week. Let’s do our part to keep ourselves and our community safe. Tests will be available at all residences and through all regular pick-up locations. Tests are also available in the community, including at community libraries.  

TRAVEL AND TESTING: Nova Scotia Public Health recommends that all students complete at least one rapid test prior to leaving for home for the December break.  

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: We need help putting test kits together. Volunteers are needed at the Macdonald Building on Studley Campus between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily — no sign-up necessary. Volunteers must provide proof of full vaccination.   

Contact information  

We will continue to provide updates regularly as more information becomes available. We also encourage our community to take advantage of the following resources:  

If you are a student with a positive rapid test result: Confidentially notify Dalhousie Health & Wellness of your rapid test result — 902-494-2171 (Halifax) and 902-893-6369 (Truro). This notification will give your PCR test priority processing. You can book your PCR test here. Residence students must also call the Residence Life Manager on call at 902-220-9038.  

If you are a faculty/staff with a positive rapid test result: Confidentially notify Accessible Employment (accempl@dal.ca) of your rapid test result and book a PCR test.  

Students with general health concerns can make an appointment at Student Health & Wellness in Halifax or Truro.  

Students with questions about requirements under Public Health can contact Dalhousie Health & Wellness— 902-494-2171 (Halifax) and 902-893-6369 (Truro).  

Employees seeking additional support are encouraged to speak with their manager/supervisor or connect with supports available through our Employee Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at workhealthlife.com or at login.lifeworks.com.   

Stay safe and look out for one another. We have gotten through this pandemic thus far by supporting one another and will get through these next few weeks the same way.   

Sincerely,  

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor  

Frank Harvey
Provost and Vice-President Academic 

Reappointment of Dr. Alice Aiken as Vice-President Research and Innovation


November 24, 2021

I am very pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. Alice Aiken as Vice-President Research and Innovation for a second five-year term.   

Dr. Aiken’s first term as Vice-President Research and Innovation was notably marked by the development of the Strategic Research Direction in 2018 and formalizing the signature research clusters and themes. The strategic connection to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), developed under Dr. Aiken’s leadership, has been tremendously useful in anchoring Dalhousie’s research in an international context and highlighting the importance of academic research contributions beyond the academy. During Dr. Aiken’s first term, Dalhousie has advanced its collection and use of many research-related metrics, such as overall research funding, grant capture across the tri-council, publications, industry funding, and numbers of PhD students, and PhD-Faculty ratios. Dr. Aiken has also championed innovation and entrepreneurship, helping support considerable growth and success in these areas.   

Throughout the review process, stakeholders identified Dr. Aiken as an engaging, positive, forward-thinking, and progressive leader who is a strong ambassador for Dalhousie and well-connected across the research enterprise nationally. Her commitment to issues of equity, diversity and inclusion and, in particular, her dedication to championing women in research were also noted.  

Going forward, Dr. Aiken will provide leadership for Pillar 3 (High Impact Research) within Dalhousie’s new Strategic Plan, while refreshing the Research and Innovation strategic direction for the next five years. Additional plans and priorities include:  

  • Growing research clusters that align with our research strengths, support national and regional priorities, and present a significant opportunity for Dalhousie to assume a leadership position on the international stage 
  • Enhancement and continuous improvement of logistical research services, funding, and other supports for research communities 
  • Continued and strengthened focus on industry engagement, innovation, and entrepreneurship and on mission-oriented, problem-solving research, in alignment with the UN SDG’s.   

Dr. Aiken also has reinforced her continued commitment to developing closer partnerships with government and non-government organizations, industry, and business as well as research partnerships with Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian communities as knowledge producers.    

Please join me in warmly congratulating Dr. Aiken on her reappointment as Vice-President Research and Innovation.

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Celebrating Dalhousie's 93rd Rhodes Scholar


November 22, 2021

A Rhodes Scholarship is one of the world’s most esteemed student awards. Rhodes Scholars are chosen based on character, commitment to others and the potential to become a world leader. I am delighted to share the news that members of our Dal community have once again been selected for this incredible global honour.

Recent graduate Ashley Jackson (BSC’20), who completed her undergraduate studies in Medical Sciences last year, is one of only 11 students across the country to be chosen as a member of Canada’s Rhodes Scholars Class of 2022. She becomes Dalhousie’s 93rd Rhodes Scholar — a total that rivals the likes of Princeton, Stanford, McGill and U of T.

Originally from Chatham, Ontario, Ashley gave her all to our Dalhousie community from the moment she arrived in Halifax in 2016. She organized a literary drive across campus that donated more than 3,000 books to fill libraries in Ghana and Sierra Leone. She developed a program to help school kids access the North End Community Health Centre’s youth dental program and facilitated recreation therapy programming for residents at the Camp Hill Veterans’ Memorial Building at the QEII. A varsity basketball player and Academic All-Canadian, she rebounded from injuries that forced her to step away from the game and turned them into an opportunity to coach and help others grow their skills and abilities. Her many awards and honours include the Dalhousie Medical Sciences Character Award and the Department of Pharmacology’s John G. Aldous Prize.

Ashley is currently studying Medicine at the University of Ottawa and will be pausing her MD studies to pursue her MSc at Oxford with the support of her Rhodes Scholarship. This will allow her to grow her dual interests in both medical research and clinical practice, with particular focus on cancer research and care. Dalhousie was proud to sponsor Ashley’s application and we wish her all the best in her exciting journey ahead. You can read more about Ashley and her achievements on Dal News.

We are also pleased to celebrate new Rhodes Scholar Nick Harris, a fourth-year student at the University of King’s College who is completing his Bachelor of Arts degree at King’s and Dalhousie with combined honours in Political Science and Law, Justice & Society. The current president of the King’s Student Union, Nick is a Loran Scholarship recipient and was awarded Dalhousie’s Commonwealth Prize in Political Philosophy in 2020. Originally from Windsor, Ont., Nick becomes King’s 33rd Rhodes Scholar. Read more about Nick on the King's website.

Rhodes Scholars embody the global reach and impact of our truly outstanding students and alumni. Please join me in congratulating Ashley and Nick and in thanking the staff and faculty who supported them through the application process.

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Remembering Chancellor Emeritus Richard Goldbloom


November 22, 2021

Since news broke Friday night that Richard Goldbloom had passed away, many Nova Scotians have been sharing memories and stories of someone who was a founding father of modern pediatrics, a beloved community leader and Dalhousie chancellor emeritus. These tales focus less on Dr. Goldbloom’s stature as a towering figure in health care and education in our region and around the world, and instead speak to the warm, kind and generous man whose love and care for others informed all the great things he achieved in his 96 years. He would surely be humbled by the outpouring of kindness he and his family are receiving right now.

Dalhousie offers our utmost condolences to his family and all who had the pleasure of knowing or working with him. Campus flags are lowered in his honour.

Dr. Goldbloom was born, raised and educated in Montreal, completing his medical studies at McGlll University where he met and married the love of his life, Ruth, with whom he would share 66 years together. Committed to a full-time academic career at McGill, he was recruited to Halifax and to Dalhousie in 1967 to serve as head of the Department of Pediatrics and inaugural physician-in-chief and director of research at the then-under-construction IWK Health Centre. It is difficult to imagine health care in this region without the IWK Health Centre — yet many of its innovations came from the imagination and inspired leadership that Dr. Goldbloom provided for nearly 20 years. By bringing top research and clinical talent to Halifax and implementing a family-focused approach, the centre became a world-renowned exemplar for pediatric health care. The centre’s vital partnership with Dalhousie continues to this day, built on the foundation Dr. Goldbloom helped establish.

In addition to his clinical leadership and the mentorship and support he provided countless students, Dr. Goldbloom was a prolific scholar, publishing over 140 scientific research papers across a diverse range of topics. He was editor of the definitive textbook in the field, Pediatric Clinical Skills, now in its fourth printing and relied upon by generations of medical students. He was inducted into Order of Canada, the Order of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and received the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals along with several honorary degrees, including one from Dalhousie (LLD’00).

Dalhousie was honoured to have Dr. Goldbloom serve as our fifth chancellor from 2001 until 2008, performing our most important ceremonial role with his trademark warmth and care and taking extra effort to make convocation ceremonies more personal for our graduates. Serving as chancellor was one of the many community contributions that coloured Dr. Goldbloom’s life. He began the Read to Me program, which for nearly 20 years has provided free books and reading resources to the family of every baby born in Nova Scotia. He was president of the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (reflecting his lifelong love of music and talent as a pianist), the first board chair of the Waterfront Development Corporation of Halifax, and founding chair of the Discovery Centre. Among his favourite engagements: chairing the Maritime Rhodes Scholars Selection Committee for 15 years, helping select some of the region’s brightest students — including many from Dalhousie — for their next great adventure.

Dr. Goldbloom titled his 2013 memoir, A Lucky Life. As lucky as he considered himself to be, surely this city, province and university were equally lucky and then some for having the good fortune to count him among our best.  His full obituary can be found here.

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Here We Code - creating a digital movement


November 1, 2021

Today, Dalhousie, led by the Faculty of Computer Science with many interdisciplinary academic and external industry partners, is launching Here We Code — and we invite all of you to join us in this exciting digital movement.

Here We Code is a campaign to establish Nova Scotia as one of Canada’s top digital ecosystems in the next five years. Digital innovation is the central component of a prosperous economic and social future for Nova Scotia. It’s at the heart of almost everything we do and is key to well-paid, flexible work opportunities for the next generation.

Here We Code will build on the existing momentum in Nova Scotia’s tech sector. It will shine a spotlight on how computer science and its many adjacencies create a pipeline for ambition and talent, growing a thriving digital economy that can benefit everyone more equitably, across communities, backgrounds and sectors.

Here We Code was born earlier this year when the Province of Nova Scotia invested $16.8 million to help Nova Scotia universities expand and enhance their computer science programs. Dalhousie received $13.3 million of this funding.

Dalhousie Computer Science will now be able to grow overall enrolment to 2,500 — with over 400 undergrad students graduating per year — in addition to research and professional master’s students. To support this growth, Computer Science will add 50 more faculty and researchers, doubling the number of experts currently employed at the Faculty, and has a plan to partner with key interdisciplinary areas including the  Faculties of Agriculture, Engineering, Management, Arts & Social Sciences, Law, and Medicine.

It is time to redefine how we see ourselves as a global leader in the digital space. Dalhousie is proud to be at the forefront of Here We Code, but it is much bigger than Dal. It’s about building a movement that everyone can be part of – and that is extremely exciting.

Learn how to join the movement at herewecode.ca.

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Andrew Rau-Chaplin
Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science

2021 Your Voice Workplace Survey


November 15, 2021

Later today, you will receive an email invitation from Narrative Research, a local survey provider, to participate in this year’s Dalhousie workplace survey, Your Voice. The survey will be open from November 15-26 and will capture your opinions of Dalhousie’s effectiveness as a work environment.

We want to hear from faculty and staff about all employee views. Your voice is valued, and your feedback will help advance Dalhousie as a great place to work. We recognize that the past couple years – including the way we work – have been challenging, so it is more important than ever to hear from you.

The Your Voice survey helps us better understand what we are doing right, where we are falling short, and what new avenues we may wish to pursue. Please be assured that no names will be shared with Narrative Research and no individual responses will be reviewed by Narrative Research or shared with Dalhousie. Only group information will be provided.

Your leaders are committed to listening to your feedback and acting on it. The survey results will be shared broadly after analysis in the new year. I will report back on the results and work with leaders across the university to act upon the key findings.

There will also be prizes for those who complete the survey, including Dalhousie clothing, Beats wireless headphones, catered coffee breaks, Apple AirPods, and an Apple iPad mini.

By completing the Your Voice survey, you will help us make Dalhousie an even better workplace. If you have any questions, please visit dal.ca/YourVoice or email YourVoice@dal.ca.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the survey.

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Dalhousie's annual United Way campaign


October 25, 2021

For more than 200 years, our students, alumni, faculty, and staff have made an impact in our region, our country, and around the world. For 96 years, Dalhousie has remained committed to supporting United Way.

Each year, the Dalhousie community comes together to show our support for individuals and families in need, generously donating funds and volunteer hours to help fight poverty and give back locally. The pandemic has exposed inequalities and created new needs in our communities that we cannot ignore. The United Way has been there throughout to provide support.   

On Monday, Oct. 25, Dalhousie’s annual United Way campaign begins across Dalhousie’s campuses, with the goal of raising $120,000. In recognition of the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19, we appreciate your support if you are able to give, and we understand that not everyone is able to at this time.

The money raised through employee donations and fundraising events supports hundreds of important programs and resources. Your donation not only changes lives, but it also stays local. Donations made on our Agricultural Campus go towards United Way Colchester; Carleton, Sexton and Studley Campus donations are directed to United Way Halifax; and funds raised by Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick go to United Way Saint John. While you may donate any time, those who donate during the active campaign period (Oct. 25-Nov. 5) will also be entered to win prizes provided by Ancillary Services, Dalplex and ITS.

I encourage you to get involved in this year’s United Way campaign in any way you can. Please watch and share our campaign kick-off video.

If you have any questions about this year’s campaign or want to get involved, please visit dal.ca/unitedway, reach out to a member of the Steering Committee or your Employee Campaign Coordinator, or contact Dalhousie’s United Way co-chairs, Emily Huner and Chloe Westlake.

I hope you will join me in supporting the United Way and helping us reach our goal of raising $120,000. 

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor 

Dal Reads 2021/22


October 14, 2021

It is my pleasure to provide you with a link to borrow the eBook version of the Dal Reads 2021/22 book, Butter Honey Pig Bread by Francesca Ekwuyasi. This eBook is available for the Dalhousie community and can be borrowed by an unlimited number of simultaneous users exclusively through the Dalhousie Libraries.  

Francesca Ekwuyasi is a Halifax-based writer and multidisciplinary artist from Lagos, Nigeria. Her debut novel published in 2020 tells the interwoven stories of twin sisters, Kehinde and Taiye, and their mother, Kambirinachi. It is a story of choices and their consequences, of motherhood, of the malleable line between the spirit and the mind, of finding new homes and mending old ones, of voracious appetites, of queer love, of friendship, faith, and above all, family. (From: https://arsenalpulp.com/Books/B/Butter-Honey-Pig-Bread)

Dal Reads is designed to encourage community engagement and thought-provoking dialogue among readers. I invite you to read this book with the Dalhousie community and post your thoughts or any questions you might have about the book on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #DalReads. There will be opportunities throughout the academic year to take part in events related to the book, and your professors may talk about Butter Honey Pig Bread in class. 

I encourage you to take the opportunity to use this book to begin meaningful conversations at Dalhousie.  

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor 

Review for the Vice-President Research and Innovation


October 6, 2021

Dr. Alice Aiken’s term as Vice-President Research and Innovation formally ends on June 30, 2022. Dr. Aiken has advised me that she wishes to be considered for a further term.

Dr. Aiken was appointed Vice-President Research in September 2017, and the role later broadened in scope to Vice-President Research and Innovation (VPRI). Prior to assuming this key leadership role, Dr. Aiken served as Dean of the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie. She is an active researcher focused on health systems transformation and evidence-informed policy-making, with a particular focus on military and Veteran health. Dr. Aiken is currently the Vice-Chair of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and chairs the board of Research Nova Scotia. She is elected to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada.

Administrative reviews are key to university accountability and quality improvement processes. They are conducted for key academic administrative leadership roles on a regular cycle in keeping with our Senior Administrative Appointments Policy and Procedures. It is routine that an administrative review be initiated at this point.

As a first step in this process, a review committee has been constituted. Members of this committee are listed below.

The review committee are interested in hearing informed feedback concerning the following strategic leadership areas of the VPRI: Setting a Vision and Strategy for Research; Facilitating Internal Research Collaboration and Support; Providing Leadership of the Office of the VPRI, including the Office of Research Services (ORS), Office of Commercialization and Industry Engagement (OCIE), and Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Dal Innovates): Enhancing External Relations and Reputation Related to Research at Dalhousie. These areas are articulated further in the survey below.

Faculty, staff, students and external partners are encouraged to participate in these reviews.  

Opinions may be expressed in one of three ways: by filling out this anonymous survey, via email to Robin Beaton at Robin.Beaton@dal.ca or by submitting a request for a virtual interview with the committee to Robin via email or by calling 902-494-2511. Please fill out the survey, submit your input over email or request an interview by October 15.

Committee Membership

  • Deep Saini, President and Vice-Chancellor (Chair)
  • Frank Harvey, Provost and Vice-President Academic
  • Laurie Jennings, Representative from the Board of Governors
  • Noreen Kamal, Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering, Representative from Senate
  • Shelley Brown, Manager, Institutional and International Programs, Office of Research Services
  • Marty Leonard, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies
  • Louis Beaubien, Professor and Associate Dean Innovation, Faculty of Management
  • Melisa Marsman, Assistant General Counsel
  • Chris Cutler, Professor and Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Agriculture
  • Erica Seelemann, Master’s Student, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Representative from the Dalhousie Student Union

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Fall graduation celebrations


October 4, 2021

Graduation is a significant milestone, not only for our students, but for their supporters as well.  

To our newest members of the Dalhousie Class of 2021 graduating this fall, I commend you on your perseverance and accomplishments. Never before has the world been more in need of your ingenuity, passion and purpose. We are all rooting for you.  

To our faculty and staff, many of you have contributed to helping these individuals on their path to this important moment. And although we are unable to celebrate our graduates together in person this fall, I am writing today to share details about how you may participate in our celebrations from wherever you are.  

The Class of 2021 Digital Yearbook launches today and will serve as a space to share in the excitement with our newest graduates. We invite all graduates to share photos and memories of their years at Dal, as well as the ways they will be celebrating their achievements with their families and friends. Supporters, faculty and staff are also able to share congratulatory posts, photos, videos and links here.  

On Thursday, October 14 at 2 p.m. (ADT), the university will host a University-Wide Convocation Celebration event live via YouTube. This is an opportunity for graduates, their families and friends, and our faculty and staff to come together at one time and celebrate their achievements. Graduates have received an invitation via email and are welcome to pass the invitation on to their supporters to join in our celebration. The video will also be archived for those who cannot join us to watch on the 14th.

In addition to celebrating virtually, we are also bringing a bit of Convocation directly to our graduates. The university will be sending each graduate a special Convocation package in the mail in the coming weeks that will include their parchment, a Convocation keepsake booklet and a few other surprises.  

Finally, we know that many of our graduates will still want their chance to walk across the Convocation stage in person at some point, and we will be in touch with them in the future to ensure all have the opportunity to do so.

I hope that you will join me in the weeks ahead in wishing our graduates well as they officially join a community of more than 150,000 alumni who are making an impact in their communities, here in Canada and around the world.  

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor 

Unsanctioned Halifax street parties


September 26, 2021

We are gravely disappointed in the deplorable, reckless behaviour of students who organized and attended large, unsanctioned and illegal street parties near campus yesterday. While we are grateful to the majority of our students who heeded the clear warnings that were shared about this behaviour, there were many who still ignored these warnings, and we are working very hard to ensure appropriate consequences will follow.  

For more than 200 years, Dalhousie University has lived in concert with our Halifax community. Our ability to teach, learn, research and operate in this city is founded and sustained by the goodwill of our community. In recent years, that goodwill has been strained by these large, unsanctioned street parties near campus. That behaviour continued yesterday, with the most alarming behaviour occurring last night — despite clear instructions from Dalhousie and our community partners about both the significant risks and consequences for these actions.   

The choices these students are making are unacceptable. Those of you who attended these parties did so in violation of pandemic gathering limits under the current Provincial State of Emergency. Many of you showed complete disregard for the surrounding neighbourhood and for laws and bylaws around noise, open alcohol and public intoxication. With first aid and arrests reported, you put strain on first responders already at capacity due to the current pandemic. You put your safety and the safety of our shared community at risk, and you damaged the reputation of the majority of your fellow students who are doing their best to safely and successfully continue their studies this fall.  

Our community is disappointed and frustrated — and has every right to be. These are reckless, dangerous and disruptive gatherings. No one should be made to feel unsafe in their own home. To our neighbours: we share your frustration. You are owed an apology from these students. As the university whose name and colours have been co-opted to justify these gatherings, we are also sorry for the actions of these students and their impact on you and the community at large.

We are grateful for the support of our community partners, including Halifax Regional Police (HRP), Halifax Regional Municipality and Emergency Health Services (EHS), who helped prepare in anticipation of these events and worked to maintain order and keep people safe to the best of their abilities. Dalhousie supported this shared effort in many ways, including offering alternative programming for students, meeting with students and neighbours ahead of the weekend to set expectations, and providing financial support to help fund the increased HRP and EHS presence required yesterday. Our hope is that this work helped limit the potential harms of yesterday’s events, including harms to those who chose to attend. Unfortunately, our collective efforts to manage this serious situation were not sufficient to prevent it from happening. New approaches are needed and we are committed to pursuing them together with our community partners.   

We will be pursuing disciplinary action under our Code of Student Conduct. We made clear to students last week that those who partake in these activities risked being sanctioned by Dalhousie through the university's Code of Student Conduct. The Code can be applied to off-campus situations if a violation of municipal, provincial or federal laws results in a material negative impact to the university community, or in situations which raise concern for the safety or well-being of students or the university community more broadly. These illegal, unsanctioned gatherings meet both criteria and so, where appropriate, Dalhousie will apply its Code of Student Conduct to the greatest extent possible. Sanctions that may be imposed by the Senate Discipline Committee upon finding that a student has violated the Code range from mandatory training and education or probation for a designated period of time, through to denial of specified privileges or suspension/expulsion from the university.   

Dalhousie is committed to being a good neighbour and our expectation is that our students are as well. Many of our students are meeting this expectation, but far too many are not. We stand with our peer universities working to address street parties as they become a complex and growing problem across North American university campuses. We have more work to do and will continue to work with our partners to meet these expectations. Additional updates will follow.    

Sincerely,  

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor  

Frank Harvey
Provost and Vice-President Academic  

Verity Turpin
Vice-Provost Student Affairs (Acting)

Together Again - Welcome Back


September 7, 2021

Dear Dalhousie community,

I am pleased to welcome so many of you back to our beautiful campuses, as we emerge from an extraordinary period unlike any other in Dalhousie’s history.

There is nothing quite like seeing a campus through the eyes of a new group of students in September, and I expect this year will be extra special in that regard.

For many of you, it’s been quite some time since you were here; for others, it’s your first chance to experience the storied hallways and pathways of our campuses. We also recognize that some members of our community haven’t been able to make it back to campus yet, and we look forward to welcoming you as soon as you can get here. And, of course, some of you have been here the entire time, keeping our communities safe and helping to prepare for our eventual return.

I want to thank each and every one of you for adapting to these extraordinary circumstances, for following public health guidelines and doing your part as the pandemic evolved. Now, we have a unique opportunity to take what we have learned from the experience of the past year and a half and put it into practice as we come back together again as a Dalhousie community.

Some of you will no doubt be caught up in the excitement and promise of a new academic year. Others will understandably be more anxious or nervous about being back in person after so long, and with uncertainties and concerns still lingering.

The pandemic has taught us a lot about kindness, about community and about ourselves. It’s time to show what we have learned by being respectful, understanding and kind to our fellow students, faculty and staff as we return and adjust to this ‘new normal.’ It’s time to bring our Dalhousie community together again.

Whether it’s your first time on campus, or your first time in a long time — welcome, and I wish you all the best in the academic year ahead.

Sincerely, 

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Dalhousie to observe National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


August 3, 2021

In June of this year, the Government of Canada passed legislation to create a new federal statutory holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, to be observed annually on September 30.  Dalhousie University joins the rest of the country, and in particular the Indigenous communities, in observing September 30 as a day for remembrance and reflection. 

On September 30, the university will be closed, and classes will not be held. This day will be treated as a holiday in accordance with our collective agreements and handbooks, and only employees designated as essential will be required to work that day. We will be encouraging our Dalhousie community, friends, families, and alumni to use this time to participate in activities organized on and off-campus and to learn and reflect on the history, culture and lived experiences of Indigenous peoples.  

This national day was first proposed in 2015 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, in collaboration with Indigenous peoples, to honour survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. This public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools has taken on even more immediacy given recent discoveries of hidden graves of children at former residential schools. September 30 is also Orange Shirt Day, a day when we honour the Indigenous children who were sent away to residential schools.  

Dalhousie’s observance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation aligns with our continued focus on the educational recommendations of the TRC and that of Dalhousie’s Indigenous Advisory Council and Indigenous Faculty Caucus. This includes further strengthening and expanding our current academic programs, re-examining ownership of Indigenous data, respecting the protocols used for research and service with Indigenous communities, increasing effort for the recruitment and retention of Indigenous faculty, staff and students, and strengthening partnerships with Indigenous communities. We will use the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to remind us that we can do more and at a quicker pace.  

We will share details about local community events and other opportunities to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation closer to the date. We hope all students, faculty and staff take September 30 as an occasion for listening, for learning and for committing to the important work required of all of us as we seek to live up to our treaty obligations; to encourage and support Indigenous members of our Dalhousie community; and to think about the society that was and the society we want to be and collectively work for a more respectful and inclusive campus community and society.

Sincerely, 

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Emancipation Day – August 1


July 27, 2021

Earlier this year, Canada’s House of Commons voted unanimously to designate August 1 as Emancipation Day. Dalhousie University joins the government, other universities, and communities in Nova Scotia, Canada and internationally in celebrating this important occasion.   

On August 1, 1834, the Slavery Abolition Act came into legislative effect throughout the British Empire. This marked the first Emancipation Day and brought with it the legal end of centuries of enslavement of African People and their descendants. At the time of its enactment, the new law spelled legal freedom for nearly a million African people throughout the British Empire, including in Canada. Official national observance of Emancipation Day is an impetus to reflect on the ongoing impacts of slavery on people of African ancestry in Canada and elsewhere.   

Dalhousie’s role in this important commemoration is noteworthy. Former faculty member and current Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard has worked for years to have the day officially commemorated. Thanks to her efforts and the efforts of many others, Emancipation Day provides us occasion to acknowledge an important part of our shared history in Canada — one that has traditionally gone unremarked upon.   

Dalhousie has also documented our own intersections with the historical legacies of slavery, and with a vital imperative to help strengthen and support the African Nova Scotian community, this occasion is particularly timely and relevant. This weekend, Dalhousie will be raising the new African Nova Scotian flag — designed by visual artist Wendie Wilson and revealed earlier this year — on both our Halifax and Truro campuses in honour of Emancipation Day.

We would also like to invite members of the Dalhousie community to a special virtual panel discussion hosted by Halifax Public Libraries this Wednesday (July 28) called Emancipation and Liberation: Where Do We Go from Here?, featuring multiple Dalhousie faculty members. Afua Cooper, Barb Hamilton-Hinch, Isaac Saney and Gregory Adolphe-Nazaire will explore the meaning of the Slavery Abolition Act within the contemporary context of the struggle for racial justice.   

Let us each do our part to recognize Emancipation Day through contemplation, education, celebration and action.

Sincerely, 

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost Equity and Inclusion

Appointment of Vice-President Government and Global Relations


July 27, 2021

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Matt Hebb as Vice-President Government and Global Relations, effective August 1, 2021.  

This role, in which Matt has been serving in an acting capacity for the past year, came about via the merger of the Office of International Relations with the Office of Government Relations and Economic Development, bringing both portfolios into the president’s executive team. Although not specifically included in the new title, the responsibility for Dalhousie’s role in our province’s economic development continues to reside in this portfolio. This change reflects the growing importance of international strategy and partnerships for Dalhousie, responds to a 2019 review of Dalhousie’s international activities, and aligns with the vision of Dalhousie as a civic university with global impact that’s foundational to our new strategic plan, Third Century Promise.   

This appointment also follows a recent administrative review of both the new portfolio of Government and Global Relations as well as Matt Hebb’s leadership. I would like to thank the review committee members as well as everyone in our community who contributed to this important process. Matt’s appointment at the recommendation of the review committee was approved this morning by the Executive Committee of Dalhousie’s Board of Governors.   

The review illuminated what those who have worked closely with Matt know quite well: he is a highly strategic, creative and positive leader with an exemplary record of advocacy for Dalhousie locally, nationally and internationally. Since joining the university in 2013, Matt has strengthened our relationships with all levels of government and helped expand Dalhousie’s impact through transformational partnerships with private- and public-sector partners. He also worked on a one-year secondment to help launch Canada’s Ocean Supercluster as its Interim CEO.  

Matt has been outstanding in the Vice-President Global and Government Relations role this past year, during a very unique time. He has unified and grown a new team working remotely. He led the development of a strategic framework for Dalhousie’s global activities and embarked on a broad, campus-wide consultation process on key global operations. Moreover, he has positioned Dal to aggressively and successfully pursue our global ambitions.  

I look forward to continuing to work with Matt, his team and our entire Dalhousie community as we set Dalhousie’s sights towards growing our global reach and impact. Please join me in congratulating Matt on his appointment.

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Call for Nominations - President's Awards for the Advancement of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility


July 20, 2021

At Dalhousie, we aspire to be a national leader in championing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA). Inclusive excellence is core to our new strategic direction, Third Century Promise, and the efforts of our faculty, students and staff in advancing EDIA are vital to our collective success.  

Each year, we recognize individuals and groups across our campuses who have made outstanding contributions in this space with President’s Awards for the Advancement of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility – and we are now inviting nominations for the 2020-2021 awards.   

We encourage the nomination of individuals or groups (including units, departments, faculties, or campus organizations) and will be providing three awards:

  • A faculty or staff individual award 
  • A faculty or staff group award 
  • A student individual or group award  

Nominees should demonstrate a commitment to dismantling systemically unjust structures and promote an inclusive campus community at Dalhousie, going above and beyond what would normally be expected in their everyday duties to accomplish these objectives.   

If you have worked with an individual or group who deserves recognition for their exceptional or creative efforts to advance Dalhousie’s EDIA work, please nominate them by August 31, 2021.   

More information about the nomination process, along with the nomination forms, may be found here.  

Please help us recognize and celebrate the extraordinary work happening across our campuses to make Dalhousie a thriving community where everyone belongs.  

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost Equity and Inclusion

Dalhousie Mourns the Saskatchewan Residential School Child Victims


June 24, 2021

Note: Some may find the contents of this message triggering.

Kwe' (Greetings):

The Dalhousie University community extends our deepest sympathy to the survivors, families and Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan who are mourning the discovery of 751 unmarked graves of sacred children at the site of a former residential school in that province.

This is the second such horrific discovery in less than a month with others to follow that will continue to mark one of the darkest chapters in Canada’s history. We are heartbroken at this news and the Dalhousie community offers our unwavering support to the Indigenous communities impacted by this tragedy. We continue to work closely with Dalhousie’s Indigenous Advisory Council on how to better address this issue and make Dalhousie more inclusive in all that we do. To honour the 751 children whose lives were lost at the former Saskatchewan residential school and their families, Dalhousie will lower its flags to half-mast.

We invite you, this evening, to join our Speak Truth to Power Forum: They Found Us and We Are Coming Home to listen and learn from Indigenous panelists on this devastating issue. The event begins at 6 p.m.; full details can be found here.

A National Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866 925-4419.

We also encourage anyone affected by this news to reach out to the university for available resources and supports.

  • The Elders in Residence program is available to students across campus, The Elders are committed to being available to students for guidance, counsel and support.
  • The Indigenous Student Centre helps create a sense of belonging to support student success while at Dalhousie. Our Indigenous Student Advisor provides support and advocacy for all of Dalhousie’s Indigenous students.
  • Dalhousie’s Human Rights and Equity Services provides confidential advice and support if a member of our community has faced race-based harassment and/or discrimination.
  • Students who require immediate support should contact Student Health and Wellness by phone to book an appointment: 902-494-2171 (Halifax); 902-893-6369 (Truro). Additional e-mental health options for students are available, including Good2Talk – free and confidential counselling for post-secondary students (dal.ca/good2talk); Ask a Nurse – confidential answers to your health questions within 72 hrs; and TAO – an online mental health library.
  • Faculty and staff resources are available through our Employee Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at workhealthlife.com or at login.lifeworks.com. Please also visit our remote working site for employees for additional mental health resources.

Our sympathy, strength, and spirit are with you.

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Frank Harvey
Provost and Vice-President Academic

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost Equity and Inclusion

Dalhousie condemns anti-Muslim attack in London, ON


June 9, 2021

Dalhousie University strongly condemns the horrific attack against a Muslim family in London, ON.

We express our sympathy to the family and loved ones of those who were lost and to those members of the Muslim community on our campus and around our province who are experiencing feelings of grief and anger as a result of this act of hate and Islamophobia.

Dalhousie denounces all forms of faith-based hate, violence and discrimination. Such horrible acts stand in direct opposition to our core values. We stand in solidarity with the Muslim community and all those who face discrimination as we work toward embracing diversity and making Dalhousie an inclusive and safe place to study, work and live.

This week’s horrible news comes in the wake of an already incredibly difficult time in our nation. We understand that hearing about and dealing with multiple painful and traumatic events can be hard to bear.

Let us draw strength from each other and collectively work towards greater humanity for all.

For those who would like to attend, there will be an outdoor community vigil this evening at 7 p.m. at the Ummah Mosque, 6225 Chebucto Rd., Halifax. Public health measures will be in place. For more details :https://www.facebook.com/ummahmasjid/posts/5563917680346544

Please remember to offer compassion, understanding, and support to our community members who are hurting.

If you need immediate support, please know there are resources available:

  • Dalhousie’s Human Rights and Equity Services provides confidential advice and support if a member of our community has faced race-based harassment and/or discrimination.
  • Students who require immediate support should contact Student Health and Wellness by phone to book an appointment: 902-494-2171 (Halifax); 902-893-6369 (Truro). Additional e-mental health options for students are available, including Good2Talk– free and confidential counselling for post-secondary students (dal.ca/good2talk); Ask a Nurse– confidential answers to your health questions within 72 hrs; and TAO– an online mental health library.
  • Faculty and staff resources are available through our Employee Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at workhealthlife.com or at login.lifeworks.com. Please also visit our remote working site for employees for additional mental health resources.

Our sympathy, strength, and spirit are with you.

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Frank Harvey
Provost and Vice-President Academic

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost Equity and Inclusion

Thank you to our Dalhousie community


June 7, 2021

June has arrived, and with it a number of things to look forward to. Another group of incredible Dalhousie students will graduate this month. COVID numbers in Nova Scotia are decreasing and vaccines are rolling out in impressive numbers. And planning continues for the return to our campuses by the fall, where we will be able to better collaborate and further engage with one another in person again.

June has normally been recognition season at Dalhousie and while the current public health restrictions mean we can’t do things the way we usually would, as a colleague recently said to me about the challenges presented by COVID-19: “We can’t let the fact that it’s not perfect stop us from doing it at all.”

To express our sincere gratitude for all you have done this year, we will be closing the university on July 2nd to allow an extended long weekend for those who are able to take the extra day. We know that teaching, research and other operational responsibilities mean there are some of you who may not be able to take this particular day. If this describes your situation, please arrange within your faculty or unit lead to take another day off at a time that is more suitable. Researchers will still have lab access and any instructors with tightly structured courses are not obligated to cancel classes. Custodial services will resume on Monday, July 5.

Thank you again for your many contributions; you are what makes Dalhousie University great.

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Dalhousie Mourns the BC Residential School Child Victims


May 31, 2021

Note: Some may find the contents of this message triggering.  

Kwe' (Greetings): 

It is with a heavy heart that the Dalhousie University community extends our deepest sympathy to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Residential School survivors, their families and community, all First Nations, and our local elders, chiefs, families and communities. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Dalhousie’s Indigenous faculty, staff and students to collectively mourn the uncovering of the 215 sacred children’s remains and the painful memories that accompany such a horrific discovery.  

The gravity of loss and trauma that the Indigenous communities of British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and all of Canada are experiencing weighs heavily on us all. We express our significant shared empathy for the loss of young children who belonged to loving families and cherished communities. We hope that one day we can say their names.  

To honour the 215 children whose lives were lost at the former Kamloops residential school and their families, Dalhousie has lowered its flags to half-mast for 215 hours to recognize each soul lost. 

With this discovery, we rededicate our continued work with our Indigenous scholars, Elders, students and community to educate every generation about Indigenous history and the lingering impact of colonialism, and actively work towards the Truth and Reconciliation educational goals. We appreciate that researching and communicating history from Indigenous perspectives are core to this process and, though often painfully difficult, this is important work. We remain committed to doing more. 

In the coming days and weeks (starting today) we will be meeting with Dalhousie’s Indigenous community to ensure their well-being and to support their experience at Dalhousie. To those members of our Indigenous community at Dal, please take care of yourself and ensure you take the time you need during this difficult period. We call on our non-Indigenous members to also reach out to our Indigenous community and offer your support and compassion. 

A National Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866 925-4419. 

We also encourage anyone affected by this news to reach out to the university for available resources and supports. 

  • The Elders in Residence program is available to students across campus, The Elders are committed to being available to students for guidance, counsel and support. 
  • The Indigenous Student Centre helps create a sense of belonging to support student success while at Dalhousie. Our Indigenous Student Advisor provides support and advocacy for all of Dalhousie’s Indigenous students. 
  • Dalhousie’s Human Rights and Equity Services provides confidential advice and support if a member of our community has faced race-based harassment and/or discrimination. 
  • Students who require immediate support should contact Student Health and Wellness by phone to book an appointment: 902-494-2171 (Halifax); 902-893-6369 (Truro). Additional e-mental health options for students are available, including Good2Talk – free and confidential counselling for post-secondary students (dal.ca/good2talk); Ask a Nurse – confidential answers to your health questions within 72 hrs; and TAO – an online mental health library. 
  • Faculty and staff resources are available through our Employee Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at workhealthlife.com or at login.lifeworks.com. Please also visit our remote working site for employees for additional mental health resources.

Our sympathy, strength, and spirit are with you.  

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Frank Harvey
Provost and Vice-President Academic  

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost Equity and Inclusion 

Appointment of Provost and Vice-President Academic


May 27, 2021

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Frank Harvey as Dalhousie University’s Provost and Vice-President Academic for a five-year term, effective July 1, 2021.   

Dr. Harvey, Dean of Dalhousie’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, has served as Provost and Vice-President Academic in an acting capacity since last May. His appointment follows a rigorous international search, with many impressive and accomplished candidates. The fact that the search committee found its unanimous choice here, within our own Dal community, speaks volumes about Dr. Harvey’s credentials, skills and experience as an academic leader. The Board’s support for Dr. Harvey's appointment was unanimous and enthusiastic and we are honoured to have him continue in such a crucial role in our senior administration team.   

Dr. Harvey has been an accomplished teacher, scholar and administrator during his Dalhousie career that spans nearly 30 years. A professor in the Department of Political Science, he is an internationally recognized expert on security policy who has won numerous teaching awards and has served as University Research Professor of International Relations, Director of the Centre for the Study of Security and Development and as a Research Fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. He has held the Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair at Yale University (2018) and currently holds the Eric Dennis Memorial Chair of Government and Politics at Dalhousie. Appointed Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) in 2016, Dr. Harvey has helped stabilize enrolment, steward new programs and passionately advocate for arts, humanities and social sciences education.   

Taking on the Acting Provost role in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Harvey’s work to ensure academic continuity and support student success through a full year of remote learning has been exemplary. In chairing Dalhousie’s Return to Campus Committee, he has marshalled the energies of a cross-university team to ensure that the resumption in-person operations is done safely and steadily. In reviving our strategic planning process and shepherding our new plan to Board approval, he has showcased his impressive capacity to consider wide-ranging views and forge consensus while maintaining the sense of inspired vision that drives good planning forward.  

The 12-member search committee to select our new Provost included representatives from the Board, Senate, senior administration, faculty, staff and our student community. I’ve asked Board Chair Bob Hanf and Senate Chair Kevin Hewitt to provide their perspectives on Dr. Harvey’s appointment:  

“Frank’s leadership of Dal’s academic community during this extraordinary year has showcased his collaborative spirit, his thoughtfulness and his unwavering commitment to Dal’s students. I congratulate him on his appointment as Provost and look forward to working with him and the rest of the university’s senior leadership team in helping Dalhousie pursue the ambitious goals of our new strategic plan.” – Bob Hanf, Chair, Dalhousie Board of Governors  

“It's been a pleasure working with Frank in my role as Chair of Senate, threading the needle on several important initiatives for the benefit of our community. He's acted with integrity and honesty, and I'm pleased he's taking on the Provost role on a permanent basis.” – Dr. Kevin Hewitt, Chair, Dalhousie Senate   

I have no doubt that news of Dr. Harvey’s appointment will be bittersweet to colleagues in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) who have benefitted so greatly from his leadership through his four years as Dean. Our search for a new FASS Dean will begin immediately. Dr. Roberta Barker will be concluding her term as Acting Dean at the end of June, and on behalf of Dalhousie and FASS I want to thank her for her outstanding leadership and very thoughtful stewardship of the Faculty during an incredibly challenging year. Although she must leave the Dean’s Office at this time due to family commitments and responsibilities within her home Fountain School of Performing Arts, Dr. Barker has assured me that she is keen to continue supporting the projects to which she has contributed during her terms as Associate Dean Academic and Acting Dean.   

I am also pleased to share that Dr. Jure Gantar has agreed to follow Dr. Barker as Acting Dean and to continue until such time that a new Dean is appointed. Dr. Gantar, Professor of Theatre Studies in the Fountain School of Performing Arts, has previously served as Acting Dean and brings tremendous experience to the role. His record of service to Dalhousie is exceptional, and we are grateful that he has once again agreed to support our FASS community in this capacity.  

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Harvey on his appointment as Provost and Vice-President Academic and in wishing him success as he leads our collective effort to advance Dal’s vital academic mission.  

Sincerely, 

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Spring graduation celebrations


May 19, 2021

Graduation is a significant milestone, not only for our students, but for their supporters as well.  

To our newest members of the Dalhousie Class of 2021 graduating this spring, I commend you on your perseverance and accomplishments. Never before has the world been more in need of your ingenuity, passion and purpose. We are all rooting for you.  

To our faculty and staff, many of you have contributed to helping these individuals on their path to this important moment. And although we are unable to celebrate our graduates together in person this spring, I am writing today to share details about how you may participate in our celebrations from wherever you are.  

The Class of 2021 Digital Yearbook launches today and will serve as a space to share in the excitement with our newest graduates. We invite all graduates to share photos and memories of their years at Dal, as well as the ways they will be celebrating their achievements with their families and friends. Supporters, faculty and staff are also able to share congratulatory posts, photos, video and links easily here.  

On Wednesday, June 9 at 2pm (AST), the university will host a University-Wide Convocation Celebration event via YouTube Premiere. This is an opportunity for graduates, their families and friends, and our faculty and staff to come together at one time and celebrate their achievements. Graduates will be receiving an invitation to this event and are welcome to pass the invitation on to their supporters to join in our celebration.  

In addition to celebrating virtually, we are also bringing a bit of Convocation directly to our graduates. The university will be sending each graduate a special Convocation package in the mail shortly that will include their parchment, a Convocation keepsake booklet and a few other surprises.  

Finally, we know that many of our graduates will still want their chance to walk across the Convocation stage in person at some point, and we intend to be in touch with them to ensure all have the opportunity to do so.  

I hope that you will join me in the weeks ahead in wishing our graduates well as they officially join a community of more than 150,000 alumni who are making an impact in their communities, here in Canada and around the world.  

Sincerely, 

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Community Check-In: Follow-up and Video Link


May 10, 2021

My thanks to the many faculty and staff who were able to join us last Tuesday for our latest Community Check-In. At peak, we had more than 930 attendees. To see such tremendous interest and engagement in our collective work at such a challenging time is heartening, and a true testament to the dedication and commitment of our faculty and staff community. Clearly, these are difficult days, but by continuing to be kind and supportive of one another, I have full confidence we will make it through this and continue towards brighter days ahead.   

If you were unable to attend, or if you would like to re-watch some or all of the event, a full recording of the Community Check-In can be viewed here. (Dalhousie login required.)  

In particular, I encourage you to watch the portion of the event that featured Acting Provost Frank Harvey’s presentation on our latest plans for the fall term and phased return to campus. These plans place the health and safety of our university community at the highest priority and are based on a common framework developed in close collaboration with Nova Scotia Public Health and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. They reflect our shared optimism, grounded in the best available guidance, that widespread vaccination should allow us to safely and carefully resume many of our more normal activities as we approach the fall. That said, our plans must also remain nimble and flexible, considering both the needs of our Dal community and the evolving state of COVID-19.  

I also want to thank our Community Check-In attendees for their excellent questions. As is always the case, there are only so many questions we can respond to during the event itself, and some where our answers — based on where plans currently are at this point — may not have had all the detail you were looking for. We will work to answer all your questions in the coming weeks, whether in future communications, our COVID-19 website or through our support of local return-to-campus plans across the university. (Faculty and unit leads will be receiving further instruction on developing return plans shortly.) Please also continue to email any pressing questions to COVID19@dal.ca and we will do our best to respond.  

Let me conclude with two final notes.  

First, know that your concerns about the fall are shared by our entire senior leadership team. The issues you raised — how we’ll keep our students, faculty and staff safe; how we’ll provide sufficient notice about returns; how we’ll support those who require accommodations or those units looking to enact more flexible work arrangements — are the very issues we’re spending most of our time and energy on working through at the moment. I have every confidence that our collaborations with leaders and teams across our institution will result in return-to-campus plans that are safe and supportive of everyone.   

Lastly, let me reiterate what I shared during the Community Check-In about how grateful we are for your efforts in this difficult time — for those of you juggling the challenges of another significant lockdown, including parents and caregivers; for those of you who have been essential workers on campus this entire time; for those who have given so much this past year in service of our students, from virtual classrooms to in-person learning and supports; and for those of you stepping up and getting tested, getting vaccinated and volunteering at local clinics. Your efforts embody the sense of community support that has not only gotten us through this past year but will guide and shape our path out of this pandemic. Thank you. 

Sincerely, 

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)


April 20, 2021

The month of April is used each year as an annual campaign to raise public awareness about sexual assault and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. The COVID-19 experience since 2020 has made it increasingly urgent for us to use Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) to highlight this social justice issue and the extent to which it continues to plague society, escalating under the COVID-mandated living restrictions.   

Dalhousie joins with government agencies, businesses, other campuses and community-based organizations in the province, across the country and internationally, and particularly with those who provide services and supports to sexual violence victims, to spotlight SAAM. We believe that sexual harassment, assault, and sexual-related violence are public health, human rights and social justice issues and strongly condemn these horrid acts.     

Dalhousie remains committed to providing efforts for prevention and the creation of a safe and healthy environment for learning and working at the university. We recognize that we must be proactive, as sexual harassment, assault, and abuse can happen anywhere, whether it be work spaces, classrooms, social media platforms, or elsewhere.   

Specific to our students, Dalhousie’s SAAM focus this year is on building safe online spaces. As such, Human Rights & Equity Services (HRES) is providing knowledge-sharing and awareness-based programming through social media. Follow us on Instagram @DalHRES for information, tips, and resources related to sexualized violence, bystander intervention, and engaging in safer online spaces. (Facebook: fb.com/DalHRES Twitter: Twitter.com/DalHRES).   

Dalhousie University is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for everyone that is free of discrimination, harassment and all forms of violence.

We want you to know you are not alone during this challenging time. Please reach out if you need support.

Provincial mental health crisis line

1-888-429-8167

Student supports

Students who require immediate support should contact Dalhousie’s Student Health & Wellness Services by phone to book an appointment: 902-494-2171 (Halifax); 902-893-6369 (Truro). DSU’s Survivor Support Centre offers a sexual assault & harassment phone line; call or text 902-425-1066 between 12pm-12am daily.   

Additional e-mental health options for students are available, including Good2Talk – free and confidential counselling for post-secondary students (dal.ca/good2talk); Ask a Nurse – confidential answers to your health questions within 72 hrs; and TAO – an online mental health library.

Faculty/staff supports

Faculty and staff resources are available through our Employee Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at workhealthlife.com or at login.lifeworks.com. In addition, Morneau Shepell has opened its 24/7 bilingual crisis support line to help anyone in need of emotional support. The toll-free number is 1-844-751-2133.   

Employees are also reminded that our Blue Cross medical coverage for mental health benefits was increased to $1500 effective April 1, 2020. Please also visit our remote working site for employees for additional mental health resources.

Sincerely, 

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Frank Harvey
Provost and Vice-President Academic (Acting)

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost Equity and Inclusion

Madeleine Stinson
President, Dalhousie Student Union 

Nova Scotia Strong - One Year On


April 16, 2021

It is difficult to believe almost one year has passed since our province was forever changed by the tragic events of April 18-19, 2020. For many in our community, time has seemed to stand still. 

In the coming days, our thoughts will be with the loved ones, friends, and colleagues of the 22 Nova Scotians who lost their lives. We are also acutely aware that many of our friends and colleagues on Dalhousie’s Agricultural Campus in Truro have a personal connection to the loss felt by the entire province.  

A province-wide moment of silence will be observed at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, to coincide with the start of the Nova Scotia Remembers Memorial Ceremony, which will be streamed online and by media. 

We join Premier Iain Rankin in encouraging all Nova Scotians to pause at 3 p.m. Sunday for two minutes, to remember and honour those most impacted by the tragic events of April 2020. 

From Saturday evening until Tuesday morning, April 20, flags on all our campuses will be at half-mast. We will also light the Cumming Hall building in Truro and the Henry Hicks building in Halifax blue, in remembrance of those lost.   

Those who wish to watch the service of remembrance may do so via the Nova Scotia Remembers Legacy Society Facebook page. The service of remembrance will also be livestreamed by news media.  

Later this spring, a memorial fountain will be erected in the John Higgins Memorial Garden on the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus in Truro — a peaceful spot for community members to take a moment of quiet reflection. 

As we make our way through the next week and beyond, please remember we are better together, stronger together, and we are Nova Scotia Strong.

Sincerely, 

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

David Gray
Dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Principal, Agricultural Campus  

Dalhousie’s plan for returning to campus in the fall


April 13, 2021

As we near the end of a challenging academic year, we have reason to be hopeful.

The latest vaccine timelines for Nova Scotia have partial vaccination available to everyone 16 years of age and older by the end of June, with full vaccination available by the end of September. Thanks to the amazing work of vaccine researchers, Public Health leaders and front-line care providers, and aided by our collective efforts to keep one another safe, our path out of this pandemic and towards resuming a more normal, post-COVID version of university operations is clearer than ever before. We are looking forward to having you join us on our campuses this fall.

Although the spread of COVID-19 variants remains a concern even during these initial stages of vaccine rollout, Nova Scotia continues to be one of the safest places in North America throughout this pandemic. It’s important we keep it that way. Dalhousie is currently collaborating with Nova Scotia Public Health, the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, and our peer universities and colleges on a common safety framework that will apply across the province’s postsecondary institutions. Our goal is to safely open our campuses to students, faculty and staff this fall.

We recognize that our plans may need to adapt and evolve but we remain optimistic that students, staff and faculty will be able to safely return to campus for the fall. While there are many details still to be worked out, here is some important information we wanted to share with everyone in the Dal community regarding our plans for returning to campus in the fall:

Revised safety plans will now allow us to hold almost all of our classes in person this fall, including our larger classes. The academic timetable may look a little different to accomplish this safely — more varied class spaces and course time slots are a possibility, for example — but we know how important it is to our learners and teachers alike to be able to return to the classroom this fall. This planning will continue to be driven by significant consultations between Deans, Associate Deans Academic, Chairs, Directors, faculty members and Senate committees, coordinated, in part, through the Return to Campus committee and Human Resources. The full academic timetable will be available to students in late May ahead of course registration in June. For students who have further questions about how specific courses will operate in their respective programs, Faculties will be in a position to provide more information after the release of the timetable.

We plan to welcome international students to our campuses, and those who have not been vaccinated prior to arriving in Canada will be able to be vaccinated here in Nova Scotia. Our International Centre will continue to support international students in making their way through the immigration process, appreciating the unique challenges many are facing at this time.

Residences and dining halls will be open at a much greater capacity than they were this year. We hope to provide more details to students who have applied to residence for the upcoming year by May 1.

Student services and student life will return to on-campus activity to a much greater extent, including on-campus events, food services, libraries, study spaces and fitness facilities.

Faculty and staff will be returning to our campuses, with a phased return set to begin in June and continue into September. Leaders will be asked to prepare return-to-campus plans for their Faculties, departments, units and labs, incorporating new university guidelines on flexible work that reflect the important lessons we've learned from the pandemic regarding new ways of working. Plans will be developed in consultation with faculty and staff, with support from Human Resources, and should maximize both service excellence and employee experience through the safe, steady growth of on-campus activities through the summer months and into the fall.

A substantial Return to Research will begin in June with increased density in existing labs and in adherence to Public Safety precautions. We aim to return our research community to campus by September.

All of this will be accomplished safely, in full alignment with Public Health requirements and Dalhousie’s health and safety protocols, which we will be sharing soon. Among the measures you can likely expect in the fall are: physical distancing at a significantly reduced level compared to current requirements; masks continuing in many settings until such time that Public Health relaxes this restriction; guidelines for entering and exiting buildings and classrooms to minimize risks; conducting self-assessments for COVID-19 symptoms prior to coming to campus; contact tracing measures; review and consideration of campus ventilation systems and space requirements; frequent hand washing and continued regular cleaning of campus spaces.

We know these plans will prompt more questions than we can answer in this memo, but rest assured we will continue to communicate frequently and share more details as soon as we are able. We will also continue to work closely with Nova Scotia Public Health and other provincial colleagues to ensure our plans align with the latest, best public health guidance. Finally, while this approach to the fall will be very welcome news to many in our community, there will be others who have concerns. We are here to listen, to help, and to provide whatever support and guidance is possible. We have gotten through this pandemic by looking out for one another, and we will only get out of it by continuing to do the same.

I want to once again thank everyone for their exceptional efforts during this challenging time. I continue to be inspired by what our community has accomplished, pulling together and pushing forward even though the weight of this heavy, difficult year can be hard to carry at times. I expect we will continue to feel some of that weight even as more of our community returns to campus. As we begin to bring our incredible Dal community back together again, I hope we don’t just pick up where we left off — but that we take what we’ve learned about ourselves and each other this year and build an even stronger Dal community for the future.

Please keep checking your email or visit dal.ca/coronavirus for the latest information, and I look forward to welcoming our community back to campus this September.

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

In Memoriam — Donald Sobey, C.M.


March 25, 2021

With great sorrow on behalf of Dalhousie, I am extending condolences to family and friends of Dr. Donald Sobey (LLD’89). Donald was an influential business leader, a celebrated philanthropist and an unwavering supporter of Dalhousie for more than three decades. He died on March 24 at age 86. Campus flags are lowered in respect.

The legacy Donald leaves at Dalhousie will have a profound impact on our campus, research, faculties and students for years — even generations — to come.

Donald was from Stellarton, N.S. He cared deeply for his community and it may have been his small-town roots that kept him modest and people-centred in the world of corporate titans.

He graduated from Queen’s University in 1957 and his belief in the transformational power of education never wavered. Donald created scholarships at multiple post-secondary institutions, hoping some would reach young people who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to continue their education.

One of four children of Sobeys founder Frank H. Sobey, Donald was president of Empire Company Ltd., the parent company for Sobeys, from 1969 until he was appointed chair in 1985. During that time, he played a key role in expanding the regional supermarket into a national chain. He became chair emeritus in 2004. His corporate and charitable board roles included serving as chairman of the National Gallery of Canada and Maritime Tel & Tel, and director of the World Wildlife Fund.  

At Dalhousie, Donald served on the Board of Governors from 1997–2001, chaired the Campaign for Dalhousie in the 1980s and was honorary chair from 2009–2012 of the Bold Ambitions Campaign Leadership Council (Atlantic Region). His exceptional generosity to Dalhousie included supporting the Campaign for Dalhousie (1980s), the Computer Science Building Fund (1990s), the Dalhousie Art Gallery, and the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation’s Irene MacDonald Sobey Endowed Chair in Curative Approaches to Alzheimer’s Disease.   

In 2011, the Sobey Fund for Oceans at Dalhousie — a partnership between the Donald R. Sobey Family Foundation, Dalhousie’s Marine Affairs Program and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada — began developing a conservation legacy for oceans, specifically by funding scholarships and work placements. Recently, Donald contributed funds essential to creation of the Restorative Lab in the Faculty of Law.   

A passionate collector and promoter of Canadian art alongside his son, Rob Sobey, Donald chaired the Sobey Art Foundation. In 2002, this foundation created the Sobey Art Award, considered to be one of Canada’s most prestigious award for artists.

He received many awards in his lifetime. Donald became a Member of the Order of Canada in 2013 for his philanthropy and entrepreneurism. He also received the Queen’s Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) and was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame with his brother, David Sobey, in 2007. Donald and David received the Retail Council of Canada’s Canadian Grocery Industry Grand Prix Lifetime Achievement Award (2019) on behalf of their family.

Called wise, kind, funny and a wonderful friend by those at Dalhousie who knew him personally, Donald gave generously of his time, energy and resources. He leaves behind his wife, Beth, three children and five grandchildren. We will be forever grateful for his vision and commitment to making Dalhousie a better university and Canada a better country.  

Due to Covid-19, private services are by invitation only. A celebration of life will follow in the future.

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Statement on anti-Asian discrimination


March 19, 2021


Recent incidents and attacks on the Asian community across North America, based on negative stereotypes and unfounded beliefs, are of grave concern. Unfortunately these acts of racism are not new, and they have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, sparking rising expressions of xenophobia and anti-Asian sentiment around the country and the world.

Dalhousie’s core values and policy on personal harassment and statement on discrimination condemns racism and expressions of hate, bias and discrimination in all forms. We recognize how recent attacks on Asians and Asian Canadians as well as the more recent tragic, unwarranted, and violent killings of six Asian women in Atlanta, USA, have deeply affected members of our Dalhousie community. We condemn these abhorrent acts in the strongest terms.

Dalhousie continues to be committed to fostering a safe and welcoming community, and we are proud of and celebrate our many Asian and Asian Canadian students, faculty and staff for their inspired contributions to our university. We are consistently working to bring more awareness to issues of racism, and on ways to support our diverse, and especially, underrepresented community members.

We encourage anyone affected by these recent events to reach out to the university for available resources and supports.
 
For support, please reach out to our colleagues in Human Rights and Equity Services for support at 902-494-6672 and Dal.ca/HRES. Students may also find support through Dalhousie’s Student Health & Wellness Centre, committed to providing quality primary and mental health care services. Appointments may be booked online or by calling 902-494-2171.

For Faculty and Staff, Employee and Family Assistance is also available for confidential support at 1-800-387-4765 or http://workhealthlife.com.
 
Dalhousie Security is responsible for the safety and security of the Dal community and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The DalSAFE mobile app also connects the university community directly to HRES and other resources to support you.

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost Equity and Inclusion

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

March 8, 2021

International Women’s Day has been observed for more than a century since it began in 1911. The day recognizes the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally, and it is a call to action for gender parity.

Dalhousie would like to join with institutions, governments, corporations, grassroots organizations and the media in Canada and around the world to celebrate women’s achievements, while acknowledging the challenges that women still face, both in our community and globally.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is “Choose to Challenge” – a call to action for all of us to recognize and oppose inequality and gender bias.

It has been close to a year since Dalhousie, along with the rest of Canada and the world, was forced to move the majority of our operations to a virtual space in response to COVID-19. Consistently, evidence has shown that the pandemic has resulted in particularly difficult circumstances for women as mothers, teachers, front-line workers, health professionals, and more. On a global scale, it has increased the burden on women as caregivers, while simultaneously aggravating gender-based violence.

Despite these significant challenges and atrocities, we draw strength and inspiration from the famous words of Maya Angelou: “Still [We] Rise.”

It is more important than ever to honour women’s immense sacrifices, successes and contributions. Today and every day, please join us as we strive for a more equitable world for women everywhere.   

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost Equity and Inclusion

Reappointment of Dr. Frank Harvey as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


February 19, 2021

I am very pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. Frank Harvey for a second five-year term as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.   

As you are all aware, Dr. Harvey has been serving as Acting Provost and Vice-President Academic since June of last year and I am very grateful for his contributions to the university. I also want to express my gratitude to Dr. Roberta Barker who has provided exceptional leadership as Acting Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and led many important initiatives across the Faculty in a very challenging context.   

Dr. Frank Harvey’s first term as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences was notably marked by the completion of a successful strategic planning process and the launch of the Faculty’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025. This planning process and many of his priorities over the course of his first term were guided by the recommendations from the 2017 Senate Review of the Faculty. Dr. Harvey has served as a tireless and enthusiastic advocate for his Faculty, exercising creativity and commitment in his work to address faculty renewal and to grow both full-time and part-time student enrolment. Dr. Harvey has also demonstrated a genuine commitment to issues of equity, diversity and inclusion in his work to recruit and retain under-represented faculty members and his commitment to community outreach. He has supported the development of new programs and courses within the Faculty including the recently launched Certificate in Indigenous Studies and overseen the creation of expanded experiential learning opportunities for students. Over the course of his decanal review process, stakeholders noted Dr. Harvey’s strategic, pragmatic, engaging and respectful leadership style and widely praised his ability to work in a spirit of collaboration towards positive solutions, whether with individual faculty members or as a trusted colleague at the senior leadership table.  

In a second term, Dr. Harvey has identified plans and priorities in line with the recently completed 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. These plans include a continued focus on faculty renewal; attention to the mentorship of new faculty; measures to further increase the diversity of the faculty cohort; and a student recruitment and retention strategy designed to build upon the successes over his first term. Dr. Harvey also plans to lead the formal launch of two new mandatory first-year courses for all incoming undergraduate students to the Faculty and to continue to explore ways to transition the minor programs in Indigenous Studies and Black and African Diaspora Studies into major programs. The conclusion of the renovation of the Fountain School of Performing Arts will also be an exciting milestone during the course of his second term.  

Please join me in warmly congratulating Dr. Harvey on his reappointment as Dean.  

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Nominate your star students for an IMPACT Award


February 16, 2021

In early April, the Dalhousie community will celebrate some of our outstanding students at the 10th annual (and first online) IMPACT Awards.  

The IMPACT Awards recognize students and student societies from across the university for their exceptional extracurricular contributions, not only to Dalhousie, but to local, provincial, national, and global communities. In order to properly recognize our stars, we need to hear from you.  

If you have worked with a student, or students, whose contributions deserve to be recognized—particularly during the challenges posed by this year—I encourage you to nominate them for an IMPACT Award before the Feb. 28 deadline.  

Information about all of the awards, along with nomination forms, can be found at dal.ca/impact.  

Please help us celebrate our impressive students and share their inspiring stories. 

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

In memoriam and condolences to our Medicine community


February 13, 2021

The Dal community, particularly our colleagues in the Faculty of Medicine, is mourning the loss of Ryan Clow, director of MedIT Enterprise Systems, who passed away suddenly last weekend.   

Ryan’s work touched so many elements within Medicine: teaching, research, operations and more. Part of the MedIT team since 2014, Ryan was an admired, thoughtful and beloved friend and colleague whose loss will be felt by many across our campus communities for a long time to come.   

Please make time in your thoughts for Ryan’s family and friends, our faculty, staff and students in the Faculty of Medicine, as well as all who knew him. Dalhousie shares our condolences. Campus flags have been lowered to half-mast in Ryan’s memory.   

Please reach out if you need help during what is surely a challenging time. Supports are available through our Employee and Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at workhealthlife.com, or through the enhanced mental health benefit from Blue Cross, or contact Accessible Employment at accessible.employment@dal.ca for additional support or resources.  

Below, we are sending along the fitting tribute to Ryan from Dean of Medicine David Anderson, which has also been shared with entire Medicine community.   

===  

It is with great sadness that the Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine shares news that our colleague, Mr. Ryan Clow, passed away suddenly on February 5th, 2021.    

Ryan was a well-known, well-liked, and highly respected member of the Dalhousie community. Born and raised on Prince Edward Island, Ryan received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of PEI in 2000 and went on to complete his MBA from Saint Mary’s University in 2009. Ryan began his career at Dalhousie University as a Project Manager and Business Analyst with Information Technology Services (ITS) in 2012 before becoming the Manager of Distributed Education Technologies (MedIT) at the medical school in 2014. Not long after, Ryan joined the leadership team as the Director of MedIT Enterprise Systems and Projects, a position he held for the past four years.   

In addition to being an outstanding colleague, Ryan was a loving husband to Julie and a great father to his two young children. I have fond memories of seeing Ryan playing tennis with his young sons and observing their mutual joy of enjoying each successful shot. Ryan touched so many lives at Dalhousie and through his many friends and acquaintances. He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all who had the privilege of knowing him.  

Ryan was admired by many colleagues-turned-friends at Dalhousie and we will remember him for his calm, dedicated leadership, and friendly, always-helpful approach. Details concerning the medical school’s celebration of Ryan’s life will be arranged by the Faculty of Medicine and shared at a later date. Those who wish to can share memories and messages to the family through an online book of condolences. Additionally, a GoFundMe page has been organized by Ryan’s friends in support of the Clow family.  

On behalf of the Dalhousie community, we offer our sincere condolences to Ryan’s family and friends.   

== 

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Frank Harvey
Provost and Vice-President Academic (Acting)

African Heritage Month at Dalhousie


January 29, 2021

African Heritage Month begins on Monday, and we encourage everyone to use this month to further engage in events, programming and learning opportunities on campus and in our broader community.

In particular, we invite you to join us at Dalhousie’s virtual African Heritage Month launch event and flag-raising on Monday, Feb. 1 from 12-1 p.m. The event will be streamed on Dalhousie’s YouTube channel.  

This year, in the face of many challenges, including those posed by the current pandemic, we celebrate the health, vibrancy, and legacies of People of African Descent. Through this year’s theme, Black Health Matters: Listen, Learn, Share, and Act, we are urged to not only recognize barriers but to actively work to remove them.  

In this International Decade for People of African Descent, Dalhousie’s commitment to supporting all People of African Descent in our community continues, informed by the recommendations from many reports, including the Breaking Barriers report, the preliminary African Nova Scotian Strategy report and the Lord Dalhousie scholarly panel’s report.

Last year, as part of our continued commitment to the African Nova Scotian community, we hired Dalhousie’s first director of African Nova Scotian community engagement, Jalana Lewis. Also, Dalhousie joined with other universities and colleges across Canada for a National Dialogue and Action Symposium for Inclusive Education and Communities with a focus on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusiveness. And we are currently working to establish a Black Studies major and a Black Studies Research Institute.

African Heritage Month is an opportunity for reflection, action and celebration. We hope you can join us for the flag raising ceremony on Monday. For an overview of Dalhousie and community events happening during African Heritage Month, visit the Human Rights & Equity Services website.

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost Equity and Inclusion

Dalhousie condemns intrusion, abhorrent comments in online meeting


January 21, 2021

Dalhousie University is deeply disturbed to learn that Dr. OmiSoore Dryden, the James R. Johnson Chair in Black Canadian Studies, Faculty of Medicine, and event participants were subject to anti-Black racist comments and other slurs during an online event Wednesday evening.

The statements made during the online session were abhorrent, unwelcome and fundamentally against Dalhousie’s values. We value our diverse community. These actions are reprehensible and Dalhousie University unequivocally condemns these cowardly acts of anti-Black racism.

Equally concerning is that the session was a “Chair Chat,” one of a series hosted by Dr. Dryden to provide safe space for Black students in Medicine, Health and Graduate Studies. It is deeply troubling that what was supposed to be a safe space for our employees and our students was violated by anti-Black racism and other unacceptable comments.

The Dalhousie community stands with Dr. Dryden, the students and all those affected by this incident and condemns all forms of racism and discrimination in the strongest terms. We will continue to focus on strengthening our resilience, resistance and efforts moving forward.

In recent months, remote environments have demonstrated challenges in ensuring safe spaces for everyone. Our Information Technology Services staff and Dalhousie Security Services are currently looking into the comments that were made to see if the individuals involved are identifiable. We continue to work to ensure that we provide inclusive, safe spaces to the best of our abilities.

We encourage anyone affected by these events to reach out to the university for available resources and supports.

For faculty, staff and students, we encourage those who need it to reach out to our colleagues in Human Rights and Equity Services for support at 902-494-6672 and Dal.ca/HRES. Students may also find support through Dalhousie’s Student Health & Wellness Centre, committed to providing quality primary and mental health care services. Appointments may be booked online or by calling 902-494-2171. Employee and Family Assistance is also available for confidential support at 1-800-387-4765 or http://workhealthlife.com

Sincerely,

Deep Saini
President and Vice-Chancellor

Theresa Rajack-Talley
Vice-Provost Equity and Inclusion