Dean's Welcome to OISE Fall Term Classes!
Good morning to all OISE faculty, students, and staff,
I am so delighted to be welcoming everyone to the first week of fall term classes! This is also my first September as Dean of OISE and I am beginning my first full academic year here at the University of Toronto with great excitement and anticipation. I hope that each one of you finds inspiration in this new beginning that will invigorate your learning and work.
Last week, I had the great pleasure of welcoming hundreds of incoming OISE students throughout the multiple orientation events and gatherings held on campus and greeting wonderful new faculty who have joined OISEthis term. As I walked through the building it was clear that everyone was enthusiastic about the start of the new year and the opportunity to meet new friends and colleagues. I look forward to being together again soon at some of our many upcoming OISE events sprinkled throughout this year.
As my ongoing decanal work gets into full swing, I want to share just a few highlights of the past term and some upcoming plans. It was a busy—and generative—summer: I continued to meet with our faculty and students, alumni, cross-University colleagues, and fellow deans of education and others. Our OISE Leadership Team took part in a retreat where we explored a number of issues including admissions, recruitment, and advancement initiatives. Working groups on pedagogical excellence and the graduate student experience at OISE are underway, as well as preliminary work for our next academic plan, which will guide OISE’s vision and work for the future. Within the broader University, I am taking part in several institutional strategic working groups focussing on priority areas (including advancement and the professional doctorate) that will inform the University and contribute to enhancing its mission. As someone deeply committed to ensuring OISE’s leadership and visibility around issues of centrality to education and U of T, I am proud to be representing OISE in these important efforts. I look forward to sharing more news on all of these fronts throughout the year.
I hope that your summer was equally rejuvenating and productive, and that you enjoyed time with family and friends.
Again, welcome and welcome back to this academic term. I hope you will take advantage of all the opportunities at OISE to explore new ideas and to (re)connect with each other. Every day I am inspired by the incredible contributions our OISE community is making to education research, practice, and policy in a myriad of ways. What an exciting place to be! I look forward to seeing you all on campus this coming year.
ERICA N. WALKER
Professor and Dean