President's Corner is a regular column from President Deep Saini.
Dear Dalhousie Community,
As you have likely heard, last Friday, March 19, the Province announced a $16.8 million investment to expand and enhance computer science education at four Nova Scotia universities. Dalhousie will receive the majority of this funding – $13.3 million – towards an expansion of our faculty complement and student enrolment in Computer Science to meet the demand for talent in the region’s growing tech sector. Not only is this a solid vote of confidence from our government partners, the magnitude of this investment, handled strategically, can potentially have a transformative impact at Dalhousie and in Nova Scotia.
We now have a very real opportunity to take Computer Science at Dalhousie a leap forward to become a national force in the field. This investment will create an unprecedented number of new positions in Computer Science and at the intersections with other faculties. Leveraging this momentum, we will be able to further expand our academic programs, strengthen our research capacity, deepen our industrial partnerships, enhance access for underserved communities and broadly deliver better student support and experience. We must also seize this opportunity to attract top talent to the university to selectively build upon our existing areas of strength and ultimately enhance our digital capacity across the institution. Inherent in these developments is a major opportunity to further diversify Dalhousie’s talent capital and meet our existing commitment to increase the number of women in Computer Science.
Demand for top notch digital talent is growing rapidly in all sectors of the economy. The availability of this talent in Nova Scotia has a meaningful impact on the quality and growth of everything from health care to clean technology to food security. By scaling our Computer Science program, Dalhousie will make a significant contribution to the capacity of our region to attract immigrants, to start and grow innovative companies, to improve public services, and to attract investment into the economy. By making equity, diversity and inclusion a priority for how we scale Computer Science at Dalhousie, we will also contribute to more inclusive economic growth. There may be no other university in Canada as well positioned to enhance its academic mission while extending its positive impact. This is truly the essence of a civic university.
Along with our government, non-profit and industry partners, as well as our partner institutions — Acadia, Saint Mary’s and StFX — we have a chance to make an immediate mark on Nova Scotia’s and the region’s economy, thus tangibly contributing to the region’s recovery from the pandemic.
A big “thank you” to everyone at Dalhousie and our external partners who have been collectively involved in bringing this vision to life. And of course, many thanks to the Government of Nova Scotia for making this critical investment in our shared digital future.
Please join me in imagining the possibilities that this investment brings and in envisioning the difference we can make in our digital and start-up ecosystem if we are innovative, inclusive and collaborative.
Let’s get to work.