2017 Archives

President Florizone reappointed for second term

Nov. 30, 2017:

To members of the Dalhousie community,

Earlier this year, in accordance with the University’s Senior Administrative Appointments Policy and Procedures, Dalhousie’s Board of Governors formed a Presidential Review Committee to evaluate Dr. Richard Florizone’s presidency and make a recommendation regarding his reappointment at the conclusion of his current term.

On behalf of the Board of Governors and the Presidential Review Committee, I am very pleased to announce that the Board has unanimously approved Dr. Florizone’s reappointment as President and Vice-Chancellor effective July 2019, based on the enthusiastic recommendation of the Committee.

The review engaged students, faculty, staff and the broader community, and included reflection from Dr. Florizone on his own performance. Throughout the process, the Committee solicited input from all members of the Dalhousie community, and a number of external stakeholders, including government, private sector, and academic leaders from across the region. The Committee received a great response to its solicitation, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

Throughout the first term of his presidency, Dr. Florizone has inspired students, faculty, staff alumni and the community to collaborate in achieving historic success for the university. Some of our shared achievements include the largest federal research grant in Canada in 2016 for the Ocean Frontier Institute, full program accreditation of all of Dalhousie’s programs, record fundraising and enrolment, and Dal faculty being recognized with Canada’s top science prize in three of the last four years. His term was not without its challenges, but Dr. Florizone’s leadership through them has been steadfast, in particular his commitment towards academic values and excellence, partnership, and building a more respectful, diverse and inclusive university community. The conclusion of his current term will see the revitalization of our Sexton campus, the opening of a new fitness centre, and the celebration of our 200th anniversary — all initiatives that speak to the collaborative vision that Dr. Florizone has set out for Dalhousie.

Dr. Florizone began his presidency by engaging the community in 100 Days of Listening, a process that sought input on a way forward for the university and informed our strategic plan, Inspiration and Impact. Looking ahead, Dr. Florizone continues to work on advancing the priorities set out in the plan, including student retention and success, research excellence, diversity and inclusion, and catalyzing Dalhousie’s impact on the broader community.

As Chair of Dalhousie’s Board of Governors and the Review Committee, please join me in congratulating Dr. Florizone on his reappointment. Under his leadership, Dalhousie is very well-positioned to begin an inspiring third century.

Signed,

Larry Stordy

Issues of respect, inclusion and community

October 23, 2017:

To members of the Dalhousie community,

It has been a challenging week for Dalhousie University, as we confront very serious issues of respect, inclusion and community.

Let us be clear: at Dal we abhor racism, gendered violence and Islamophobia, and we know we have to strive every day to challenge these. Our essential values are equal dignity of all persons, freedom of expression and inquiry, intellectual integrity and respectful relationships.

As we address specific incidents, let’s stay committed to these principles, with justice and fair process. Dr. Arig al Shaibah shared her memo with you on Friday, and she and Provost Watters will provide further updates at Senate later today.

These are difficult conversations, but through them we will build a stronger Dalhousie.

Mi’kmaq History Month at Dalhousie

October 2: 

October is Mi’kmaq History Month. Beginning with Treaty Day on October 1 — a day which commemorates the key role of treaties between the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq and the Crown — the month celebrates Mi’kmaq culture and heritage and reaffirms the historic presence of the Mi’kmaq who have lived in our region for thousands of years.
 
A number of events are taking place on campus in both Halifax and Truro throughout October. These include:
 
Mawio’mi – Monday October 16
Our eighth-annual Mawio’mi kicks off at 11 a.m. with food and craft vendors. The Grand Entry at noon will usher in an afternoon of dancing, drumming and singing (ends at 3:30 p.m.). All are welcome to attend. The theme of this year’s gathering is “walking towards reconciliation.” The Mawio’mi will be held on the Studley Quad in Halifax. (Rain location: McInnes Room, Student Union Building.)
 
Opening of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Legacy Room and NCTR Hub Launch – Monday, October 16
(Edit: These events have been postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date.) 
 
Public lecture with Daniel Paul — Monday, October 23
Daniel Paul’s acclaimed book We Were Not the Savages is this year’s Dal Reads selection. Dr. Paul will be on campus for two events this month: a public lecture on Monday, October 23, and the launch of a new biography about his life, written by Jon Tattrie, on October 18.
 
For more events — including a flag raising in Truro, guest speakers, a blanket exercise and more — visit Dal’s Mi’kmaq History Month website.
 
Mi’kmaq History Month reminds us that we are all treaty people, and that we work, study and live on traditional Mi’kmaq territory. We’ve made progress here at Dal with the launch of an Indigenous Studies Minor, the permanent raising of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council Flag in both Halifax and Truro, the launch of our Elders-in-Residence program and the hiring of a full-time Indigenous Student Advisor, but our work is far from over. Let’s use Mi’kmaq History Month not just to celebrate, but to consider the important work ahead to make Indigenous education, research and support even more vital to our institution.

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.

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.

Summer food drive for Feed Nova Scotia

July 11, 2017: 

Last summer, we learned that Feed Nova Scotia was critically low on food supplies and had to turn people away from food banks. In response, the Dalhousie community rallied together and donated more than one tonne of much-needed supplies. 

To avoid a similar situation this year, Feed Nova Scotia is proactively asking community members and organizations to host food drives and fundraisers throughout the month of July — and we’re hoping to show our support once again. 

On Wednesday, July 12, Feed Nova Scotia donation boxes will be in buildings on all four Dal campuses for individuals and groups to make their donations. You can find locations here. Our Facilities Management team will be collecting these donations on Friday, July 21 and delivering them to the Feed Nova Scotia warehouse that afternoon. 

Feed Nova Scotia, which distributes food to 146 agencies across the province, helps feed over 22,000 people each month. To avoid waste, we encourage donations of canned goods and/or food in plastic containers. They are looking, specifically, for the following items: 

• Canned meat and fish
• Peanut butter
• Canned beans
• Canned fruits
• Soups and stews
• Pasta and rice
• Cereal

My sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone sharing their time and resources to make this food drive possible. If you are able, I strongly encourage you to make a donation and continue our long tradition of giving back to our community. Alternatively, if you prefer to make a cash donation — as I’ll be doing myself — you can do so here

 

2017 Quality of Work Life Survey Results

June 22, 2017: 

Thank you to all faculty and staff who participated in this year’s Quality of Work Life (QWL) Survey, which was conducted from April 18 to May 5. The survey considers all aspects of our individual and collective experience. 

I invite you to attend a presentation on the survey results on Tuesday, June 27, 2 to 3 p.m., Theatre A, Tupper Building Link, Carleton Campus. Jasmine Walsh, Assistant Vice-President, Human Resources, will lead the presentation, along with a representative from Morneau Shepell, the survey provider. For those who cannot attend in person, the presentation will be webcast live via Adobe Connect [http://dal.adobeconnect.com/guest/] and subsequently archived. 

Based on the results from the 2017 survey, you said that you continue to take pride in your work at Dalhousie and you see positive changes being made on campus with diversity and inclusiveness. However, you also indicated that you are having challenges remaining physically active and that you would like to see a more respectful workplace. You can read more about the survey in this Dal News story. The full survey report is available on the Human Resources site on myDal.

Great organizations are built around great people, and Dalhousie is no exception. It takes all of us, together, to make Dalhousie a great workplace. The QWL results will inform efforts university-wide under our Work Well strategy, with particular focus on mental health, physical health and workplace culture. Our Human Resources team will also be working with faculty and department senior leaders to develop localized action plans to respond to their own results. 

I encourage you to attend the presentation on June 27 to learn more about our survey results and the connection between your health and the university’s overall health. Together, we can make Dalhousie one of the best workplaces in Canada.

Invitation to Strawberry Social on June 28

June 7, 2017:

This year will be our fifth Strawberry Social, an annual event held to celebrate our successes over the past year. 

Please join us on the Quad in front of the Henry Hicks Building on Wednesday, June 28 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. There will be a new menu (keeping with our Strawberry theme), live entertainment and lawn games.

Supervisors, please encourage your teams to attend this event; it's a great way to connect with colleagues across the university.

If it rains, we'll move into the Great Hall of the University Club.

I hope to see you there!

Dr. Ford Doolittle awarded Killam Prize in the Natural Sciences

May 2, 2017: 

I am very pleased to announce that Dalhousie's Dr. Ford Doolittle of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology is the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Killam Prize in the Natural Sciences from the Canada Council for the Arts. 

The Killam Prize is one of Canada’s most prestigious scholarly honours. The $100,000 prize, awarded annually in five different fields, celebrates outstanding career achievement.

This marks the second year in a row that the Killam Prize in the Natural Sciences has been awarded to a Dalhousie researcher. Last year, Chemistry’s Dr. Axel Becke was the recipient. Past Dalhousie Killam Prize winners also include Dr. Susan Sherwin (Philosophy) and Dr. Brian Hall (Biology).

Dr. Doolittle and Dr. Becke are also recent recipients of the $1-million NSERC Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering. Together with this year’s recipient, Dr. Jeff Dahn, Dalhousie researchers have won three of the past four Herzberg Medals — a remarkable run of achievement recognizing three outstanding, world-leading researchers.

Dr. Doolittle is one of the world's top molecular biologists and has been working on the frontiers of research in evolutionary biology for more than 40 years. He has fundamentally altered our understanding of evolutionary biology, demonstrating that Darwin’s “tree of life” model of evolution failed to account for two-thirds of life on earth and proposing lateral gene transfer as the driving force in early evolution. Dr. Doolittle has received numerous awards and honours for his research, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences. 

Dr. Doolittle will receive his Killam Prize in a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa later this month. (Learn more about Dr. Doolittle in our Dal News story on his award.) 

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Doolittle. We are deeply proud of his achievements and his commitment to examining some of the fundamental questions around evolution, genetics and the building blocks of life itself.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

March 20, 2017 - 

On March 21, Dalhousie will observe the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. First recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966, March 21 is the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre, in which South African police killed 69 people during a peaceful protest against apartheid.  

At Dalhousie, this day is an opportunity to note the recent theft of the Pan-African flag, which we raised to celebrate African Heritage Month. This incident has been disturbing. Dalhousie is proud to have been the first Canadian university to raise the Pan-African flag on its campuses, an important step in creating a culture grounded in diversity and inclusiveness. To recognize the importance of the Pan-African flag as a symbol of our diversity and to highlight the significance of March 21, we are encouraging all students, faculty and staff to a wear Kente cloth pin. Pins will be available in the following locations: 

- Black Student Advising Centre
- Dalhousie Student Union Info Desk
- Global Health Office
- International Centre
- President’s Office
- Front desks at Dalhousie Residence Halls
- Community Outreach Office, Security Services (LSC)
- Dean’s Office – Faculty of Agriculture

We are also raising the Pan-African flag on our Studley campus on Tuesday, March 21 and every morning for the remainder of the week, as a symbol of our allegiance and strength.  

International Women's Week at Dalhousie

March 6, 2017:

Today marks the first day of International Women’s Week (IWW) at Dalhousie, with International Women’s Day falling on Wednesday, March 8. The week presents our community with an opportunity to celebrate the many contributions and achievements of women on our campus and worldwide.

The theme of International Women’s Day 2017 is ‘Equality Matters.’ It encourages us to reflect on progress towards gender equality and acknowledge the challenges that women still face in their quest for gender equality.

Students, faculty and staff will be hosting a series of events throughout the week to recognize and celebrate women, including a film screening of The Abominable Crime; HER-STORY: A panel discussion with Black Women in Health Careers; Women Reading Women with Dalhousie's Writer-in-Residence Sue Goyette; and an in-depth conversation with Senator Wanda Thomas Bernard. To learn more about events on and off campus during IWW, visit the Human Rights & Equity Services website.

 

As part of our Strategic Direction, Dalhousie has a collective commitment to fostering a culture grounded in diversity and inclusiveness. We encourage all members of our community to attend and contribute to these important conversations about why gender equality matters. I hope to see you throughout the week. 

 

Appointment of Acting Vice-President Research

February 21, 2017:

It is with pleasure that I announce the appointment of Dr. John Newhook as Acting Vice-President Research, commencing May 1, 2017.  

Dr. Newhook is currently Professor, Department of Civil Resource Engineering, and Director of the Centre for Innovation in Infrastructure in Dalhousie’s Faculty of Engineering. He has served in various administrative roles at Dalhousie at the department, faculty and university-wide level, including Associate Vice-President Research from 2011 – 2016. Dr. Newhook earned a PhD in Structural Engineering from Dalhousie and a MASc and BEng from the former Technical University of Nova Scotia.

He is active in a number of technical societies including the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (currently serving as Vice-President Technical Programs) and is a founding executive committee member of the International Society for Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure (ISHMII), which includes leading experts from Canada, US, Europe, Asia and India. A registered engineer and consultant to the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code, Dr. Newhook has served as Chair of the Buried Structures Technical Sub-Committee since 2012.

I thank John for agreeing to serve in this role and look forward to working closely with him over the coming months.

I also want to take this opportunity to once again thank Dr. Martha Crago for her many ongoing contributions to our University community. The search for a new Vice-President Research will commence in the coming weeks.


African Heritage Month at Dalhousie

January 27, 2017:

February is African Heritage Month, an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the many contributions of African Nova Scotians, African Canadians and the diaspora on our campus and in our community.

This year’s provincial theme for African Heritage Month is Passing the Torch… African Nova Scotians and the Next 150. This theme encourages us to reflect on and honour past and present legacies, while looking ahead to future achievements. It is particularly relevant at Dalhousie, an environment dedicated to educating and supporting our future leaders, as we examine our own past in preparation for our third century.

There will be a series of events held on campus throughout the month to honour African history and culture, including an African Heritage Month kick-off celebration on Thursday, February 2 at noon in University Hall. All are welcome to attend and I hope to see you there.

To learn more about African Heritage Month and events happening on campus, visit the Human Rights & Equity Services website.