Interim Dean Community Update - September 29, 2021

Interim Dean Normand Labrie
OISE Faculty, Staff and Students

Dear OISE Faculty, Staff and Students,

I hope the first weeks of this fall term have been going well. This message contains several important updates including:

  • National Day of Truth and Reconciliation (September 30, 2021)
  • 2021/22 Faculty Searches
  • OISE Review Update
  • Vaccination
  • UofT Multi-Factor Authentication


National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

September 30, 2021 marks the first time the Canadian Government is recognizing Orange Shirt Day.  As an Institute focused on education, OISE is deeply connected to the history and has responsibility to attend and take action on the ways settler colonial violence continues to manifest across all education systems including post-secondary.

Honouring Residential School survivors, their families and communities on September 30th requires reflection and intentional efforts to learn about the Truth of Canada. In support of such reflection, the Indigenous Education Network has collaborated with OISE Outreach Librarian Desmond Wong to compile a broader resource list for the OISE and U of T community to expand their understanding of settler colonial violence in Canada. This list includes a range of resources that we encourage our colleagues and students to take time to read/watch/listen to. Also, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s website offers information on virtual events for this week, presents archives and stories from survivors along with reports from the commission that are all important tools for learning/unlearning about the Indian Residential School System for this day. Such reflection is important but we also take action and in this regard, OISE is announcing today a commitment  to increase levels of emergency bursary supports for Indigenous students for this year.


2021-22 Faculty Searches

I am extremely pleased to announce that OISE has received approval from the University to conduct a total of 9 searches for continuing faculty members in 2021-22, including 8 new searches and 1 search carried forward from  2020-21. Faculty renewal remains a top priority for OISE and is a major focus of my efforts during my term as Interim Dean.  The recruitment of new faculty in many significant academic areas will strengthen our capacity to address critical issues in education, to promote and enact equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as to enhance student experience.

The positions are listed below:

Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development 
Assistant Professor – Elementary Mathematics Education and Child Study
Assistant Professor – Statistics and Machine Learning Application in Education

Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Assistant Professor – Applied Linguistics/Language Education with a Focus On Equity and Inclusion
Assistant Professor – Educational Technology with a Focus on Online Learning
Assistant Professor – Gender, Sexuality and Trans Studies in Curriculum and Pedagogy
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream – Leadership for Racial Justice in Teacher Education

Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education
Assistant Professor – Adult Education for Equity in Organizations and Communities
Associate Professor – Educational Policy in Comparative and International Contexts
Associate Professor – Higher Education Leadership and Administration (carried forward from 2020-21)

Faculty recruitment is one of the most important collegial decisions we have the opportunity to make in our academic life.  We are in the process of forming committees for these searches and will announce their membership once finalized. I would like to thank the Chairs, faculty, and staff who have contributed to the launch of this exciting and important year for faculty renewal, as well as all those who have already accepted our invitation to sit on a search committee.  Advertisements for the 9 positions will be posted in the coming weeks.  


OISE Review Update

As you will recall, the Provost commissioned a review of OISE during the 2020-2021 academic year as part of the University’s regular cycle of quality assurance. Following the consultation process that took place during the fall term of 2020, a self-study report was submitted to the Provost in February 2021. Three external reviewers were appointed and they conducted a virtual site visit from March 22-26, 2021 during which they met with our leadership team, faculty, students, staff and alumni representatives.  The review report is very positive offering a thoughtful analysis of the challenges and opportunities facing OISE including focused and constructive suggestions for moving forward. The issues and suggestions identified in the report were discussed by OISE Deans and Chairs committee, and will be presented to OISE Council as its first meeting in the Fall term of 2021. Over the course of the summer, in consultation with OISE’s senior academic leadership, the Dean’s Office developed an administrative response to the review, which was submitted to the Provost’s Office in mid-September, and will move through the University’s governance process in late October 2021. Meanwhile, the review summary including highlights of main findings and recommendations identified during the external review is available on the OISE Review website.


Vaccination is a key element of the University of Toronto’s strategy to support a safe return to campus

Following the Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture’s message of September 20th reminding the community of the requirement to provide proof of vaccination, I encourage OISE community members to upload their COVID-19 vaccination record as soon as possible to UCheck at Students coming to campus must have a vaccination record on file, while all contract, permanent, and student-employees of the University, regardless of whether they are currently working remotely, will need to upload their documents by October 29th, 2021, or prior to coming to campus, whichever occurs first. Information relating to vaccination status or approved exemption will be kept confidential and is maintained centrally through the University’s Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Office.

Individuals seeking an exemption on medical or other human rights grounds may make a request on the University’s Vaccination Exemption Request Portal.

If there is a need for you to be on campus in-person, I encourage you to visit the CAO’s COVID-19 website in advance to learn more about OISE’s building protocol. Please be reminded to book space in advance, complete a UCheck risk assessment on the day of your visit, and be prepared to show your UCheck green screen at the building’s entrance. Please also be reminded to wear a mask and continue to social distance in all common areas. Elevator capacity is currently set to 2 people per elevator car, in accordance with current regulations.


Multi-Factor Authentication

UTORMFA is the University of Toronto’s multi-factor authentication solution and as of December 3rd , 2021, will be necessary for OISE community members to log into the U of T network from off-campus locations. The solution adds an extra layer of security to your login by verifying your identity using a second factor like a mobile device or hardware token. I encourage you to enroll in the UTORMFA program at your earliest convenience by following the instructions at

Education Commons is looking forward to assisting you with this process and is available for one on one consultations. Virtual information sessions are being organized for the first week of October in partnership with University of Toronto Information Security team and we can bring this session to your department, at a time that is convenient to your colleagues; please reach out to Education Commons at with a request.


Thank you,


Normand Labrie, Ph.D., FRSC
Professor and Interim Dean