It is a tremendous honour to have been given this opportunity to serve as Sheridan’s President and Vice Chancellor for the next 14 months. During my tenure, one of my key priorities is to focus on preparing Sheridan for our future as a university.

We, along with every other public institution in Ontario (as well as those in the national and international arenas), face tremendous challenges including, but not limited to, competition for limited resources, changing student demographics, the desire for inclusion in an ever more diverse community, increasing demands for public accountability with decreasing institutional autonomy, and public perceptions regarding the prestige and value of universities and their credentials relative to colleges.

AIS TaskforceTo face these challenges head on, our opportunity is to become a unique undergraduate teaching university, building on the traditions and values that make Sheridan great. We are, and will continue to be, renowned for the span of our credentials from apprenticeship to degrees and graduate certificates with academic pathway connections. We’ll also be distinguished by our commitment to SRCA (scholarship, research and creative activities) based on Boyer’s conception of scholarship. Other differentiators will continue to include the growth of meaningful degrees that contribute to the future socio-economic welfare of our communities and our excellence in teaching our undergraduate students. We have the distinct advantage of being able to collectively frame what we are to become as a university while not replicating elements of traditional universities that are less desirable or inconsistent with our Mission and Values.

A top priority for Sheridan is the continuation of the development and approval of the second iteration of the Academic Innovation Strategy under the leadership of our new Provost and Vice President Academic (VPA), Dr. Janet Morrison, who will begin her tenure on November 28. Alongside her responsibilities as our Provost and VPA, Janet will also serve as Vice Chair of the Sheridan Senate.

Janet’s appointment follows an extensive selection process, which launched with a nationwide search for suitable candidates by an Executive Search firm. Janet joins us from York University, where she most recently served as Vice-Provost, Students. She brings with her 25 years of senior leadership experience at colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Among her past roles, she served at York as Project Director, Student Experience Transformation; Faculty Executive Officer, Faculty of Health; and Director, Student Programs in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, where she also taught undergraduate and graduate students.

Throughout her career, Janet has shown herself to be a champion of quality undergraduate and professional education, both inside and outside the classroom, and an educator focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning. I know you will join me in welcoming Janet to Sheridan at the end of this month.

As we continue on our journey to become Sheridan University, I am committed to strengthening Sheridan as a respectful workplace, encouraging inter-program and departmental collegiality, moving to increased transparency in our decision making and communications, and building a strong governance framework with clearly understood roles and responsibilities so that the right people are making the right decisions for the right reasons in the best interests of Sheridan’s future.

I look forward to working with you in this new capacity and encourage you to contact me with any questions or concerns.

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