Message from the Dean, Dr. Anne-Liisa Longmore – December 2020
As this unprecedented year comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on our community, our learning, and on the experiences of our learners. Last year at this time, we could not have imagined that 2020 would unfold as it did. Although we have been surrounded by adversity and challenge, our community has risen up, leaned in, and made things happen! I would like to take this moment to acknowledge some of our collective accomplishments (there were so many it is hard to choose only a few), celebrate special work anniversaries and retirements, honour the passing of one of our colleagues, and thank you all for all you do.
Just before the pandemic hit, we were working collectively on articulating our academic plan. Despite the upheaval, we managed to finalize and unveil a plan that speaks to the heart of what we do and why we do it – and the plan has immediately been used to guide priorities, decisions, and choices. A virtual community was created through which faculty could connect, exchange ideas, support one another, and learn. To date we have over 250 community members enrolled in the VC. Several learning sessions, mentoring opportunities, and workshops were held to support the conversion of ALL courses offered in our diploma, degree, and post-graduate certificate programs. Thousands of learners have been supported and guided through an unfamiliar remote learning world. A feat of monumental proportions. Several program reviews were successfully completed, including the interdisciplinary and multi-faceted BBA degree review and renewal process. Partnering with CAPs we have begun to explore micro-credentials and already have two in the works. In addition, a study is in progress to explore the post-graduate certificate market. Innovation in teaching and learning has been sprouting in all corners of our community – from the COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) pilot in Finance, advancements in remote assessments, increasing learner engagement in virtual classrooms, and exciting capstone projects, to the creative approach to virtual internship, innovation accelerator, and emerging research initiatives. Working closely with our Student Affairs partners we built on the Learn Well series and developed a targeted first year experience process to support PSB learners’ transition to first year in a remote world. Innovation didn’t end in the classroom, our operations teams – program support, academic program administrators, and leadership teams worked closely with the OTR, Institutional Research, and others, to develop several new data-driven administrative and planning process improvements as part of our commitment to continuous improvement. Three Associate Deans were hired, an additional AD recruitment process is currently under way, and a new Academic Portfolio Administrator was brought on board. And finally, we re-introduced Speaking Biz, providing regular updates and stories of community accomplishments, re-energized our social media activity, and worked closely with our Marketing and Communications colleagues to advance the narrative about PSB. What is interesting to note here, is this is only a partial list…. There is so much more. Please take a moment to honour all that you and your colleagues have learned and accomplished during an otherwise chaotic year.
I would also like to take this moment to honour the many colleagues who celebrated key work anniversaries with Sheridan, and our colleagues who after several years of faithful service to PSB and to Sheridan retired. More details may be found further in the newsletter.
We also said a difficult good bye to a kind, thoughtful and brilliant educator – Dr. Bahro Berhan, who tragically passed away earlier this month, leaving behind her husband Dr. Abdulrezak Mohamed and three teenaged daughters.
As we turn to 2021, I wish to say thank you. As a community you continue to show tremendous ingenuity, resilience, HEART, courage, strength and compassion. I am proud to serve PSB and look forward to a new year that is bright and filled with hope. Please stay safe and well. Happy Holidays.
Dr. Anne-Liisa Longmore
Dean, Pilon School of Business