20/20 for 2020

According to ophthalmology standards, 20/20 vision is normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet.  It does not indicate “perfection” as visual acuity may be impacted by external factors, and this particular measure does not include peripheral vision, depth perception, far- or near-sightedness, colour vision, and more. And, as the film director Billy Wilder said, “Hindsight is always 20/20.”


In the last days of 2019, there were so many “Top 10” lists for the year and the decade:  best books, best films, most read or most watched, technological advances, scientific breakthroughs, notable deaths (based on notable lives), and more. I was struck by the New York Times Decade in Pictures:  to my eye, an overwhelming number focused on violence and natural disasters, war, political unrest, migration and climate change.


Looking back is important – it provides a foundation upon which we build for the future.  There is clarity in what has transpired, though it is more difficult to predict and plan for the future.  Yet, as with the start of any new year, we have the opportunity to do just that.


For the Dean of Faculty office this year, and in collaboration with many others, we will be working on changes to the Centre for Teaching and Learning, experiential learning, capstones, and enhancing the Faculty Support Office. We will begin implementing results from the Physical Sciences external review, conduct the Life Sciences external review, and plan for the Common Curriculum review later this year.  In the research domain, we will continue to work on increasing visibility of your work, roll out new peer review opportunities, highlight additional funding opportunities, and host exciting events that will bring to campus those who make grant funding decisions and book editors from leading academic presses.  These initiatives will be shared in greater detail throughout the semester in this newsletter and at divisional and Full Faculty Meetings. As always, I welcome your substantive input and suggestions.


What are your goals and aspirations for 2020, and beyond?  How will you work toward achieving them?  And, how can I help?  As you often hear me say, I do believe that my job is to enable you to thrive professionally – to be the very best teachers, researchers and scholars.


I hope your first week of classes is off to a strong start – with very best wishes, Jeannette

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