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Recent memos from the president: 

Respect Week (September 25-29) at Dalhousie

September 25: 

Dalhousie is hosting its third-annual Respect Week, kicking off today and running until September 29.

Respect Week is a campus-wide initiative celebrating the importance of respect, inclusion and safety. It includes a range of educational and inspiring lectures, workshops and social events, all focused on the importance of a respectful living, learning and working community. You can view the full listing of events on the Respect Week website.

Respect Week also includes the university’s annual “Pink Day” celebration on Thursday, September 28. Pink Day began to counter bullying that was rooted in homophobia and linked to attitudes and behaviours that facilitate or perpetuate gender-based violence, misogyny and transphobia. It is an opportunity to wear our values “on our sleeves” and let it be known what we stand for. I encourage everyone to wear pink this Thursday or pick up a “Dal Respect” pin and show your support.

There are also Pink Day events on Thursday across campus:

  • Agricultural Campus: Cupcakes and apples, Cox Institute Foyer, 10-11 a.m.
  • Carleton Campus: Cupcakes and apples, Tupper Link, 10-11 a.m. 
  • Sexton Campus: Cupcakes and apples, Alumni Lounge, 10-11 a.m. 
  • Studley Campus: BBQ, Lower Studley Quad, 12-1 p.m. (rain location: Studley Gym)

Respect Week reminds us that all forms of assault, harassment, discrimination and bullying are unacceptable — whether they be on campus, online or at home. Building a more diverse and inclusive campus community is an important part of our Strategic Direction. Let’s continue the important work to create a safe, respectful environment we can all be proud of.

Welcome to a new academic year

September 5, 2017:

It is my sincere pleasure to welcome you all to a new academic year at Dalhousie, with all the energy and excitement that brings.  I hope that you have had a terrific summer of work and discovery, as well as rest and play.

I would like to extend a special welcome to our newest students and faculty. I have had the chance to meet some of you in recent days, and know I speak for all of Dalhousie when I say how excited we are to have you join our community

We enter this year with great momentum on many fronts. Dal earned the largest federal research grant in Canada last year to launch the world-leading Ocean Frontier Institute, and our award-winning faculty have won Canada’s top science prize — the Herzberg Medal — in three of the past four years. The campus community came together last year to witness the permanent installation of the Mi'kmaq Grand Council flag on our Halifax and Truro campuses, and our women's volleyball team won the AUS championship for the fifth year in a row.

But this year promises to be even more special than usual, because in 2018 Dalhousie celebrates 200 years of academic excellence — a rare milestone among universities in Canada. During our bicentennial year we will celebrate our first two centuries of achievement, thank those who have made it possible, and dream about what’s next. We will be opening our doors, sparking new discussions and inspiring the next generation of leaders with exciting international speakers, celebratory events, community activities and much more. Stay tuned for more information in the months ahead.

This fall will see the launch of Law, Justice and Society, a new four-year interdisciplinary Major and Honours program for Bachelor of Arts students. And our new fitness centre is expected to open its doors to the community next spring, one of several exciting building projects slated for completion during our 200th.

This year presents a tremendous opportunity to build on Dal's 200 years of excellence. Let’s inspire each other, push our boundaries and make a difference in our communities locally, nationally and internationally.

I look forward to seeing you on campus in the coming days and weeks and wish you all the very best as we enter Dal’s third century together.

Appointment of Alice Aiken as Vice-President Research

August 17, 2017: 

After an intense and competitive international search, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Alice Aiken as Dalhousie University Vice-President Research for a five-year term commencing September 1, 2017.

Dr. Aiken is currently Dean of Dalhousie’s Faculty of Health. A proud Dal alumna (BSc’94 in Physiotherapy), she is past President of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and spent 10 years as a faculty member in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queens University. A veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces (serving first as a ship’s navigator in the Royal Canadian Navy, then as a physiotherapist), her research in health services and health policy has a unique focus on veterans and their families. She is co-founder and former Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, a consortium of over 40 Canadian and seven international universities, and her awards and honours include the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and induction into the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.  

As Dean of Dalhousie’s Faculty of Health, Dr. Aiken has led the development of a visionary strategic plan set to position the Faculty as a national leader in health research and education. She is an exceptional team-builder, passionate about university research and has a strong understanding of Canada’s broader research landscape. Her ability to engage across disciplines and build strategic partnerships will serve her well in helping Dalhousie expand its reach and impact as one of Canada’s leading research institutions.

A search will be undertaken for a new Dean of the Faculty of Health in the coming months. In the interim, Dr. Brenda Merritt has agreed to serve as Acting Dean. A faculty member in the School of Occupational Therapy since 2005, Dr. Merritt is a past recipient of the Faculty of Health Teaching Excellence Award, with a research program focusing on the impact of chronic health conditions, injury and/or key determinants of health on people’s ability to participate in daily life activities.

Thank you to the members of the search committee for their thoughtful and diligent work over the past several months. I also want to acknowledge Dr. John Newhook for his service as Acting Vice-President Research. Dr. Newhook’s knowledge, insight and experience have been invaluable in helping ensure continued success of Dalhousie’s research operations over the past several months. My thanks to Dr. Newhook for his continued, steadfast support of research and innovation at Dalhousie.

In today’s world of change, challenge and opportunity, the research mission of the university is as important as ever. As Atlantic Canada’s leading research university and a member of the U15, Dalhousie is both proud and especially obliged to advance that mission. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Aiken on this important appointment, as we work together to advance knowledge and innovation for Dalhousie, Nova Scotia, Canada and our world.