Message from the Dean, Dr. Anne-Liisa Longmore – March 2021

I trust this Dean’s Message and March edition of SpeakingBiz finds you all well and safe. 

It’s hard to believe we are already mid-way through our Winter 2021 semester. It’s equally hard to believe that one year ago on March 16 we began working remotely. Since then, COVID-19 has been a source of disequilibrium, uncertainty and constant change in our lives. Each of us, and our learners, have been tremendously impacted by the pandemic, with many of us experiencing profound loss. 

I cannot say thank you enough to each of you for how you continue to rally, reach out and support one another and our community during this difficult time. As indicated in a recent Information Sheridan message, I gently remind our community members that you are not alone. Help and support continue to be available through the our Wellness Supports for Employees page and Student Wellness page on Sheridan Central for resources.

The news of the vaccine roll-out is definitely encouraging. However, as indicated in Dr. Janet Morrison’s message on March 4, while it feels like a “light at the end of a long tunnel,” there is also data indicating that as a country we are not so optimistic about the end of the pandemic. 

To that end, I would like to remind everyone of the continued importance of patience, vigilance, compassion and empathy as we continue onward. Our chief risk officer, Kathryn Cameron, also shared recent updates regarding COVID-19 public health measures and actions being taken at Sheridan. As a reminder, please continue to check Sheridan Central and direct our learners to the COVID-19 Updates page. Therein you may find the latest important updates, resource information and answers to frequently asked questions.

We are continuing to engage in planning conversations for our Fall 2021 semester. As indicated in Sheridan Central, while we are encouraged by the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines, and hopeful about what that might mean for course delivery options, the planning environment remains complex and uncertain.  Our planning principles remain solidly focused on maintaining our commitment to safeguarding the well-being of our students and employees, and to academic quality. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to gather critical data, and engage in pan-institutional conversations in an effort to finalize our Fall 2021 delivery mode decisions for PSB. As soon as these decisions are made, we will be sure to share them with our community. 

Thank you again to all who attended the PSB faculty EDI training workshop on March 4th.  Over 100 PSB faculty colleagues joined in the workshop to explore Sheridan’s Accessibility, Discrimination and Harassment, and Sexual Violence policies.  Many thanks again to our Centre for Equity and Inclusion colleagues for all of the hard work in preparing for and facilitating the workshop.  To date, we have had 29 attendees complete the feedback survey for the workshop. High level results identify 76% (in total) of attendees found the sessions to be very or extremely informative, 62% indicated they were very satisfied and another 21% indicated they were somewhat satisfied with the workshop. For those who may not have had an opportunity to complete the EDI RASP Workshop Survey and provide your feedback, you may do so by simply clicking this link.  The survey will be available until Monday, March 22nd. Your feedback is very important to us.  Your comments and suggestions will help to inform our next steps and priorities in our faculty work and learning in this very important space. It will only take about 5 – 10 minutes to complete.

Turning to our latest PSB news, this edition of SpeakingBiz provides updates on Sheridan’s rebranding, follow-up from our PSB faculty EDI training workshop, news about student conferences and competitions and an important announcement regarding our PSB Hall of Fame awards

Please continue to share your stories. We are committed to supporting our collective work, learning and community-building by providing up-to-date news and resources.

As always please feel free to reach out to me via email at anneliisa.longmore@sheridancollege, or one of your associate deans/managers, should you have any questions, suggestions or concerns.

Please stay safe and stay well.

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