I have said many times before that one of the greatest things about this University is how our faculty, staff and students unite when the going gets tough. It’s what gives Guelph its aura, makes it such a wonderful place to work and learn.
I was reminded of the strength of the Guelph spirit again today. As part of the ongoing dialogue with employee groups about issues around pensions and benefits, the Chair of the Board of Governors, the Chairs of the various B of G committees and members of senior administration met with employee group leaders a short time ago.
Admittedly, it could have been a difficult meeting. It’s a complex topic with varying causes and solutions and equally diverse ideas about how we should start addressing these challenges. But, once again, our U of G collegiality came through. I was so pleased by the dialogue that took place and the interest and respect shown by all involved. Of course, this does not replace the bargaining process – but it is so very helpful and important that we all understand each other’s perspectives on important issues such as these.
As one participant today put it, “it was a historic meeting.” I was buoyed by the experience and am feeling optimistic for the first time in a long while. I feel we are all committed to continuing this forum and share the common goal of moving our University forward. It will be difficult and challenging, but I know that, by working together, we will find creative solutions for the problems we face.