U of G community remains united in improving lives

Do you remember what life was like before COVID-19? So much of our world has changed in just a few short months. What remains unchanged is our Gryphon community spirit.

As I begin my role as president and vice-chancellor this fall, I have been impressed and humbled by the support that our community members have provided to each other under new and often very difficult circumstances.

As we emerge from this crisis – and we will emerge – we will draw upon U of G’s tremendous strengths. This institution enjoys an excellent reputation as a top comprehensive and research-intensive university that prioritizes the whole student experience, student success and student well-being. We also benefit from strong and long-standing relationships with government partners, donors, alumni and the broader community.

Guided by our overarching mission – to Improve Life – I plan to focus on four key areas that will further build on those strengths.

First, we will continue to strive for excellence in research, in teaching and learning, and in student success. We will continue to build international relationships, including attracting top international students. For all our students, we will emphasize experiential education that provides real-world opportunities to enhance their learning and research.

Second, we must ensure the financial sustainability of the University today and into the future. Fundraising will continue to be a top priority for faculty support, capital projects and student awards.

I will also emphasize the importance of collaboration and interdisciplinary thinking as one of our deep strengths that can spark innovation in academics, research and operations.

A deep commitment to equity and diversity is foundational to our commitment to excellence. I aim to build a diverse and inclusive community through numerous initiatives including anti-racism training for students; a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Fund; fundraising for scholarships for students from Black, Indigenous and people of colour communities; and a new EDI Action Plan. This work will be supported by a new president’s advisory committee focused on anti-racism and by Indira Naidoo-Harris, our AVP diversity and human rights.

In pursuing these priorities, I will rely on our strong connections with community members, including our Gryphon alumni. While we may be apart for now, together we will remain united in improving lives.

Dr. Charlotte Yates
President and Vice-Chancellor