Interim Dean Community Update – July 07, 2021
Dear OISE Colleagues and Friends,
I am writing my first community update as Interim Dean of OISE, continuing the practice of communicating with faculty, staff and students about the priorities and activities of the Office of the Dean. I will post all future update messages to Deans Community Updates and Resources website and also offer brief highlights of our work via @OISEUofTDean twitter account.
While the start of summer would typically be a quieter time, we are working through some transitions in the Dean’s Office as we also continue the momentum on priorities associated with the OISE Academic Plan. Key to our efforts will be a commitment to faculty renewal, equity diversity and inclusion, and research and program innovations and initiatives. Below are a few of the activities that we will work on through the summer and into the fall.
Six faculty searches were successfully completed in 2020-2021, and two others continue into 2021-2022. As we welcome and orient this diverse and talented new group of colleagues to our faculty, we are working to secure approval from the university for several more exciting searches in 2021-2022. I will provide an update on these searches as soon as they are confirmed.
OISE Academic Plan and Review
The 2021-2022 academic year is the last year of OISE’s current Academic Plan (2017-2022). We are very pleased with our accomplishments to date, while recognizing that there are several more goals to be achieved until the expiration of the Plan in 2022. These goals are summarized in OISE’s latest Self-study document completed for the 2020-2021 Provostial Review of the Institute (pp. 20-22). As Interim Dean of OISE, over the course of this academic year, I look forward to working collaboratively with our faculty, staff, students and alumni on advancing our academic goals and realizing the remaining priorities outlined in the Academic Plan.
Regarding the recent decanal reviews of OISE’s academic departments and their programs, I am pleased to report that the review of the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education (LHAE) was successfully completed, and the review documents including the review report and administrative responses to the review will go through the University governance in the Fall term of 2021. Overall, the experience with the 2019-2020 program reviews was positive and resulted in meaningful findings and recommendations by the external reviewers that are informing the next phase of development of OISE’s four departments and their programs. It is important to highlight that recommendations from these reviews connect well to the priorities set in OISE’s Academic Plan 2017-2022, which attests to the continued relevance of OISE’s academic planning goals.
The review visit for above mentioned 2020-2021 Provostial Review of OISE was completed, and from our conversations with the reviewers, they made it clear that they were impressed with OISE, our leadership team, faculty, student, staff and alumni they met over the course of the virtual visit in March 2021. We are now expecting the receipt of the review report that we believe will provide us with some focused and constructive suggestions for moving forward. Meanwhile, we are grateful to all members of our community for their contributions to the review, and we will continue to keep you informed about this important process.
On that note, I want to sincerely thank and to congratulate former Dean Glen Jones for having put all his leadership, expertise and wisdom at the service of OISE over the past six years. As I begin my term as Interim Dean, I find a house which is in order, and this gives me confidence that the coming year will be successful as we progressively return to in-person activities once the conditions become favorable.
As always, the work of the institute relies heavily on individual commitments of time and energy to the various advisory, governance and operational committees. Calls for nominations will be issued in the coming months. I encourage you to consider participating in the life of the institute by participating and joining colleagues in these efforts.
Normand Labrie, Ph.D., FRSC
Professor and Interim Dean