Stories link universities to the people and communities that comprise them.
Since arriving on campus as the University of Saskatchewan’s ninth president, I have had the wonderful opportunity to hear the university’s stories, meet many of its storytellers and, in fact, become part of the story.
This next chapter is one that I am privileged to help write. As alumni and friends of the university, you have many reasons to be proud of the U of S, and I plan on giving you even more.
My first job is to listen and to better understand not just the university’s culture and what makes it the place that it is, but also what must be preserved and what we must change. And I hope to hear from you in those regards. After all, you are the future of the U of S as well as its memory and history.
It’s a future that holds a lot of promise. The university recently joined the most elite group of Canadian universities, the U15, giving us the opportunity to be compared with the best universities in Canada. But membership in this group also comes with certain expectations. If we do our jobs right, we will lead in innovations in teaching and learning and increase our research intensity, building on areas of excellence. Then, we will climb the ranks in the U15 and see our prestige, reputation and visibility increase.
To look at the future and not recognize the past would be a mistake. I am following on the heels of a transformative and wonderful president, Peter MacKinnon. It is true what they say about standing on the shoulders of giants. It allows me to build from a solid foundation of good relations with the government and stable, warm interactions on campus and in the community.
Setting the stage for future success is what defines universities. We are mentors to the next generation of leaders—an exciting and important role. Our campus is home to the brightest minds, and those minds, with all of their “light-bulb moments,” contribute to a brighter future in Saskatchewan, Canada and the world.
It only takes one step onto our campus to see why the people of Saskatchewan have such pride in our university. I look forward to the opportunities that will edge us closer to fulfilling our incredible potential as we strive for our ultimate goal of being one of the most distinguished universities in Canada and the world.
President, University of Saskatchewan