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President's Blog

Occasional updates, comments, and reflections from President Feridun Hamdullahpur

We Cannot Shy Away From Opposing Views

University campuses across Canada, and around the world, are being confronted with the need to be a place that maintains its dedication to freedom of expression and open debate, while balancing the need to support those individuals and community groups who feel they are under attack. Our community is currently going through this situation right now and we cannot shy away from it.

Stay Connected with Your Warrior Community

stay connected with alumni after graduation

As exams come to an end, I want to congratulate our students, faculty and staff members on another outstanding term. I also want to thank our students for their hard work. You continue to go above and beyond what is expected in and out of the classroom.

Join Me in Supporting the Humboldt Broncos - #JerseysForHumboldt

As countless people across Canada and around the world continue to mourn the tragedy in Saskatchewan last Friday evening involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team, I too grieve with them. The devastating accident has had a profound impact on the hockey community, sports community, Canada and the world.

Professional Development is a Necessity for Innovation

staff conference and professional development

This past week I was privileged to help kick off the 11th annual Waterloo Staff Conference here at the University of Waterloo. The energy I saw in my colleagues was contagious.

It wasn’t just the fact that the group was getting ready to hear from outstanding speakers and take part in engaging workshops, it was because we were networking and learning together. And, professional development and better workplace integration are key drivers of a thriving, innovative environment.

Meeting the Needs of a Changing World

international experience and meeting change needs of the world

This column also appears in Times Higher Education.

New ideas and technologies are disrupting the way the world as we know it operates.

Technological innovations that power strides in artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing and autonomous vehicles are affecting the economies, lifestyles and demographics of the future. If we are to meet the challenges and opportunities these technologies present, we’re going to have to change with them.

Taking Action on Student Mental Health

student mental health forum

This column also appears on the Insight page of today’s Waterloo Region Record.


Millions of Canadians, including celebrities, sports teams, governments and universities, made it a point to show their support for people struggling with mental health challenges at the end of January.

Hitting the retweet button is an easy way for any of us to show our support for mental health wellness. It is a lot harder when we're asked to do more than click a button.

Our Institution is Built on Academic Freedom

academic freedom

The University of Waterloo has constantly evolved over the course of its history, yet at the heart of that evolution has been a set of non-negotiable principles that have deep roots in our academic culture. Top of which is academic freedom.

A message from the President: The importance of addressing student mental health

On Monday, March 5, our campus lost a student to suicide. In the hours that followed this tragic event, our campus expressed shock, anger and grief at the loss of another young life.

Words cannot express my sadness upon hearing this news. Like many of you, I am asking what was going on in this young man’s world where taking his life seemed the only way out. I am thinking about his parents, his family, and his friends and the terrible impact this will have on their lives.

Gender Equity is More Than a Single Day, It is a Movement

international women's day and gender equity

I am excited to celebrate International Women’s Day with our annual dinner this evening honouring our community of women, and those who identify as women. It is a joy to see the energy and drive in the room as we remember those women who have fought, and those who continue to fight today, for women’s rights and equity.

Snow, Reading Week and Taking a Break for Mental Health

Reading Week and Mental Health

As I look outside, I can feel the winter in my bones. I know the atmosphere of short days and cold weather can contribute to feeling down this time of year. This time of year also brings with it a great deal of work and pressure. It’s human to feel stress as it is a common part of life that can come and go with shifts in commitments and workload.

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