As some of you have noticed as indicated by comments on the blog and others I have seen on social media, the blog has been quiet for the past two weeks. Despite rumours you may have heard to the contrary, the events of the past two weeks required a significant investment in time that resulted in this gap.
As you will all know, the past few weeks have been an especially challenging time for our university and those who care about it, and we expect this to continue into the near future. I don’t want to gloss over these challenges, but I also feel there has been enough communicated in the past few weeks that I don’t need to reiterate what has already been said, only that I am committed to seeing our university move forward in a positive way.
I want to acknowledge that my friend and colleague, Brett Fairbairn, who up until last week was my co-sponsor in operating budget adjustments, will no longer be involved in TransformUS and other operating budget adjustment initiatives after stepping away from his role as provost and vice-president academic. Brett was a driving force behind the transformations our university is in the process of undertaking and I will miss the partnership we shared. Our partnership—that between a provost and a vice-president finance and resources—was unique in the post-secondary landscape. We achieved many milestones together over the past two years and I have learned so much in the process. I know few who work as hard as he has and are as dedicated to the university as Brett, and I want to thank him for this.
As stated by Acting President Gordon Barnhart last week, our priority right now is to take a moment to reflect on the recent events and to determine the path moving forward with budget adjustments. What hasn’t changed is the need to ensure our financial sustainability and renewal moving forward. I look forward to discussions with Acting President Barnhart in the coming weeks to set this path and will let you know more about next steps as soon as possible.