OISE Interim Dean Community Update
Dear OISE Community,
As the academic year reaches a close and with the summer months now here, I write one final update to reflect on just some of the many accomplishments of our community this past year.
When I took on the role of Interim Dean, we set forth to focus on three main priorities to guide our efforts: (i) proceeding with planned academic appointments, (ii) continuing to implement the existing academic plan, and (iii) following up on key recommendations of the departmental UTQAP Reviews and OISE Provostial Review.
Faculty Appointments and Accomplishments
2021-2022 was an exceptional year in terms of volume of searches and academic appointments. We are pleased with the recent announcement of six new faculty appointments, representing a diverse and talented group of scholars in three departments. We are also continuing with three additional searches which I am confident will soon come to conclusion.
We also announced the appointments of a new Chair for LHAE, Interim Chair for CTL, renewed terms of Associate Deans, and Interim Director for the Jackman Institute of Child Study. We also had a number of faculty colleagues achieving promotions and continuing status.
I want to thank all members of our community who served in the intensive processes associated with these searches, appointments and promotions; such efforts are so important to OISE’s research, teaching, service and leadership.
Academic Plan and Follow-up to UTQAP and Provostial Reviews
We continue to make progress on our Academic Plan. Below are few examples of activities and achievements that respond to our planning priorities:
- Acknowledged the 2022 OISE recipients of the Teaching Excellence Awards and Staff Excellence Awards;
- Launched the CFI-funded immersive space for the Centre for Indigenous Educational Research (after 2+ years of planning and development);
- Established the Centre for Black Studies in Education and appointed its first Director;
- Continued work on the 5th Floor Roof Garden and Student Lounge Project, which will become a highlight of the 252 Bloor Street Building;
- Integrated within the Registrar’s Office and Student Experience a focus on student recruitment with emphasis on EDI and international students;
- Engaged with student groups and individuals around student experience;
- Initiated program activities to address course scheduling and modality in the context of the pandemic, conducted survey of student experience with online course delivery, and examined the governance processes to modify post-pandemic course offerings and programs to increase students’ access to courses;
- Created the OISE Wellness Post-Pandemic Working group;
- Increased OISE’s target for the Defy Gravity advancement campaign from $12M to $25M.
As we look ahead to our plans for the fall term and the launch of the hybrid work arrangements pilot, I will also begin to turn my attention to preparations for January 2023, which marks the official arrival of our incoming Dean Erica Walker. Until then, we extend our best wishes to Professor Walker as she moves and settles into a new life and role in Toronto and at OISE.
I look forward to the opportunity to work with our community in the coming academic year, and to being together more regularly in person in September. In the meantime, I wish all faculty, staff, students, and alumni and friends of OISE a restful and relaxing summer!
Normand Labrie, Ph.D., FRSC
Professor and Interim Dean