During 2020–2021, the Office of the Vice-Dean, Governance and Internationalization (VDGInt), developed and implemented its two-fold mission. We continued to promote internationalization despite ongoing travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our three major internationalization programs –international internships, field research courses, and Model United Nations course – were all offered online this year. Students on internships worked with partner organizations in countries all over the world, without leaving Canada. Professors adapted their field research courses to feature guest speakers and virtual events to expose students to lived realities in different parts of the world. Participants in the Model UN course collaborated and competed in several international competitions. I want to thank all our professors, staff members, and students for making “internationalization at home” a great success this year. We look forward to relaunching student learning abroad again soon.
With respect to governance, we have been working on updating the Faculty’s bylaws to make them simpler and easier to navigate. This also involves the creation of new Faculty policy handbooks, and a significant devolution of authority to academic units. We look forward to working with each of the units in this endeavour. In the coming year, we will also be updating the Faculty’s strategic plan. The new strategic plan will be developed in consultation with professors, staff members, and students. It will articulate our shared vision and priorities, and it will serve as a guiding document for the Faculty for the next several years.
This is a period of change for the University as we navigate new funding realities and academic priorities. In the face of these challenges, we will continue to work with our units to develop innovative approaches to serving students, professors, and the broader community.
Vice-Dean, Governance and Internationalization