Dear Dal Community,
You may have seen the recent Harvard Business Review article that circulated last month about the importance of kindness at work. Our executive team brought the article to one of our own recent weekly meetings in a discussion about how we could express gratitude for everything the Dal community has done over the past 16 months. It may seem trite, but given the lack of social connections and significant challenges and traumas our communities have experienced this year, it remains important to consider how we might look out for and support one another at Dalhousie, even in small ways.
To that end, I want to note the success of the recent Shout-Out peer recognition program. Shout-Outs allow faculty and staff to informally recognize colleagues across our campuses who have helped them or their teams in some way this year. Over 200 submissions have been received to date, recognizing efficiency; professionalism; energy and enthusiasm; exemplary dedication to students; leadership and strategy; technical expertise; flexibility and willingness to help; generosity; mentorship; volunteerism; compassion; commitment to health and safety; confidence and decisiveness; creativity and innovation; collaboration; advancing equity, diversity, inclusion and access; allyship; customer service; sensitivity and so much more.
Reading through these submissions has been a heartening exercise that has instilled even greater pride for the exceptional efforts of our faculty and staff this year. If you have not yet had the opportunity, I encourage you to read the “shout-outs” submitted so far, and consider making a submission of your own.
Last week marked the beginning of summer, and I am increasingly optimistic that the coming months will offer opportunities for us to engage and collaborate in person again. As I have shared many times, our success throughout this period of significant uncertainty has only been possible because of our people at Dalhousie. Please accept my deep gratitude, for not only continuing to perform your duties with immense dedication and resolve, but for continuing to be there for one another, demonstrating crucially-needed kindness, empathy and support for your peers and for our students during a very difficult year.
A reminder that the university will be closed on July 2 again this year to offer our community a little bit more reprieve over the long weekend, and to say thank you for your ongoing contributions to the university. I hope you can use this additional time – and take the time you need over the summer months – to rest, reflect on and process the challenges we have faced as a community, country and society this year and join me in envisioning how we as a university community can contribute to building a better future.