Visit our Coronavirus Information website for more information.

Blog posts archive

January 2020

Occasional updates, comments, and reflections from President Feridun Hamdullahpur

Today we remember

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is a time of reflection for those who call Canada home. We remember those who have fought. We remember those who have and continue to serve. And, we remember the countless who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of protecting our nation and our way of life.

Thrive Week is more important than ever

Thrive week at waterloo

It has been a year filled with extraordinary challenges, stress, anxiety and difficult decisions none of us thought we’d have to make. Not a day has gone by that I have not thought about the safety of our University of Waterloo community, and top of mind has been our community’s mental health. Many of us have dealt with and continue to deal with sleepless nights brought on by worry and apprehension – I know I have.

Now is the time for us to come together. Now is the time for us to look out for one another. Now is the time to thrive.

Bringing the community together with the upcoming President’s Town Hall

town hall banner

Every Fall, I have the privilege of welcoming our community together at the annual President’s Town Hall to provide an update on the state of the University and give a brief glimpse at the future. As we all continue to grapple with uncertainty and change, coming together has never been more important.

Warriors Protect Warriors: We cannot stop our efforts against COVID-19

Waterloo students wearing mask

I want to start by thanking everyone in the University of Waterloo community for what has been a strong start to this very unique Fall Term. It has certainly offered its own obstacles but also successes for our University.

New beginnings where we all belong

welcome back waterloo fall term

Today is the start of a new academic year for thousands of students, faculty and staff who make up the University of Waterloo community. I think many of us are craving a fresh start knowing full well the coming fall term will offer new experiences and some new challenges.

We have all been pushed and stressed by the past six months. I certainly feel it and see it. At the same time, we continue learning, working and creating because we believe in pursuing new knowledge and meeting the needs of our community.

Statement on the ongoing violence against the Black community

Again, this week the world is reacting to an awful act of police brutality in the United States with the shooting of Jacob Blake. Closer to home, many are still searching for answers in the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet. I continue to be deeply disturbed by these tragedies and other racist acts of violence against Black people that are happening across the world every day, including here in Waterloo.

Student-Focused President’s Virtual Town Hall Events Upcoming

Our community came together back in May for a special Virtual Town Hall amid a great deal of uncertainty. We continue to face a near future that is ever-changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the University of Waterloo community has never stopped planning and acting.

Preparing for the changing face of the workplace

future of the workplace

Canada is slowly reopening. The past five months have put enormous pressure on our institutions structurally and financially. We now need to figure out two things: what has changed in the short-term due to COVID-19 and what has changed forever.

Update on the President’s Anti-racism Taskforce

In June I announced my intention to form a new task force to tackle racism at the University. 

I am deeply committed to making sure that we make lasting changes to address racism as an institution. This must include anti-Black racism, anti-Indigenous racism, and other issues of racism that we see too frequently on our campuses and in our society. 

We stand together against racism

Dear University of Waterloo Community,

Many of us have watched the news over the past week of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the rise in protests across the world. I know some in our University community may have participated in protests to stand in solidarity against racism, violence and oppression.

I stand with you. I stand with your frustration. I stand with your anger. I stand with your sadness. And, I stand with your call for action.

Canada is a diverse country, but still racism, oppression and intolerance happen here, too often.

Join the conversation by attending the President’s Virtual Town Hall

president's virtual town hall

I know it has been said repeatedly over the past several weeks but there is no doubt that the University of Waterloo has undergone a great deal of change in a short amount of time. We are collectively navigating uncharted territory for any post-secondary institution. Decisions are being made quickly as situations arise and as we react to an ever-evolving environment dominated by the need for public safety.

Taking What We’ve Learned Forward into the Spring Term

students working remotely from home

I know I am not alone in saying this, but the last month has been a trying one. COVID-19 has challenged everyone in the University of Waterloo community, and around the world, to levels that have never been encountered before. What I have also seen is a community that has pushed forward every step of the way.

The final three weeks and exam period of this Winter Term have been transformed out of necessity for greater needs of public health and safety. The health and wellness of our students, faculty, staff and broader community will always remain our number one priority. At the same time, we have a dedication to keeping the quality of our academic experience strong and moving.

We stand against racism in all its forms

For the last few weeks we have mobilized our skills, time and resources to slow the spread of coronavirus. We've done this as each of us has also adjusted to new work and study environments at home or at a distance.

Waterloo remains committed to maintaining and fostering a thriving community

A Note from President Hamdullahpur on the University and COVID-19

After careful consideration, aided through guidance from all levels of government, Public Health and our peer institutions from across Canada, I announced that the University of Waterloo has suspended on-campus courses until March 23. All in-person course activity is cancelled until the end of term, including in-person final exams, due to the continuing challenges COVID-19 has created.

Entrepreneurship is in Waterloo's DNA: Economic Impact Series Part III

waterloo entrepreneurs

There are few experiences as exciting as watching a pitch competition at the University of Waterloo. The student-entrepreneurs are full of passion, focus and expertise that they are utilizing to create truly unique and groundbreaking ventures. It is quite inspiring, but it’s only the tip of the entrepreneurial iceberg at Waterloo.

The ventures that have come out of the hard work of thousands of Waterloo students and graduates continue to disrupt industries and make significant contributions to our local, regional and national economies. In the third and final part of my Economic Impact Series, I am going to explore the wide-ranging and ongoing contributions of Waterloo’s entrepreneurship programs and talented entrepreneurs.

Honouring the Ongoing Legacy of International Women's Day

international women's day at waterloo

Change happens all around us on a daily basis. I see change in the discoveries made here on campus. I see it in the young and talented minds who come here to learn and live every day. Today our community marks something that goes beyond those subtle, everyday changes, but recognizes a movement that lasts generations. Today we celebrate International Women’s Day.

Waterloo Co-op Delivering Results: Economic Impact Series Part II

waterloo co-op student

When I am connecting with government officials, post-secondary administrators and industry leaders from around the world, I am most often asked about Waterloo’s co-op program.

I get questions about its benefits to the students, to the learning process, to business, to research, to the University and about how it impacts society. With more than 60 years of experience with co-operative education, it’s clear to me that our co-op does all of these.

Co-op is in our DNA. It has been part of our institution from its very founding and after six decades of evolution it is delivering for our students, our employer partners and for Canada.

University of Waterloo Economic Impact Series Part I: Driving Regional and National Prosperity

university of waterloo economic impact students

To be relevant and truly distinctive, universities around the world must have a unique role to play in society. We need to educate and train generations of talented citizens with a renewed purpose as we wrap it together with a dedication to enabling curiosity-driven discoveries from our exceptional researchers and faculty members. That’s why universities are vital to the economic health of nations.

That is exactly what we have been doing right here at the University of Waterloo from day one.

Reflections on Attending the 50th World Economic Forum

world economic forum in davos

I had the honour of once again joining more than 3,000 business and government officials at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland this past week. With it came Insights and observations on the state of the world economically, socially and politically; and connections with other universities, research institutions and industry partners.

Though I could write an entire book about the activities and discussions at the WEF, I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of my thoughts on my recent time in Davos and the future state of post-secondary education, Canada and the University of Waterloo.

Canada-wide moment of silence on January 15

The University will be holding a memorial event tomorrow at noon at Federation Hall to honour and celebrate the lives of our Waterloo community members who died in the crash of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752.

During the memorial event, we will take part in a nationwide moment of silence, joining with Universities Canada and other Canadian academic institutions to pay tribute to those students, postdocs, faculty members, alumni and our broader community whose lives were cut short on January 8.

Welcome back to campus and a new decade of impact

Waterloo in Winter Term

Welcome back to every member of the University of Waterloo community. After a nice break full of celebration and rest, we are back for a new exciting year, a new term and a new decade for our institution and with it countless possibilities. And, we are ready for it!

The University of Waterloo has pushed against convention and tradition for more than 60 years and has carved a path of progress, discovery and creation few other institutions in the world can match. I know that it is easy to talk about progress and impact as so many other universities do, but we have data to back it up.

  1. 2020 (23)
    1. December (1)
    2. November (2)
    3. October (2)
    4. September (1)
    5. August (3)
    6. July (1)
    7. June (2)
    8. April (3)
    9. March (3)
    10. February (2)
    11. January (3)
  2. 2019 (19)
    1. December (2)
    2. November (1)
    3. October (2)
    4. September (3)
    5. August (1)
    6. July (1)
    7. June (1)
    8. May (1)
    9. April (2)
    10. March (2)
    11. February (1)
    12. January (2)
  3. 2018 (30)
    1. December (2)
    2. November (2)
    3. October (3)
    4. September (1)
    5. August (1)
    6. July (2)
    7. June (4)
    8. May (2)
    9. April (4)
    10. March (5)
    11. February (1)
    12. January (3)
  4. 2017 (25)
    1. December (4)
    2. November (4)
    3. October (2)
    4. September (2)
    5. August (2)
    6. July (2)
    7. June (2)
    8. March (4)
    9. February (1)
    10. January (2)
  5. 2016 (32)
    1. December (3)
    2. November (4)
    3. October (1)
    4. September (3)
    5. August (1)
    6. July (1)
    7. June (5)
    8. May (2)
    9. April (3)
    10. March (5)
    11. February (2)
    12. January (2)
  6. 2015 (11)
    1. November (1)
    2. October (1)
    3. September (1)
    4. August (1)
    5. July (1)
    6. June (1)
    7. May (1)
    8. April (1)
    9. March (1)
    10. February (1)
    11. January (1)
  7. 2014 (11)
    1. November (1)
    2. October (1)
    3. September (1)
    4. August (1)
    5. July (1)
    6. June (1)
    7. May (1)
    8. April (1)
    9. March (1)
    10. February (1)
    11. January (1)
  8. 2013 (6)
    1. November (1)
    2. October (1)
    3. September (1)
    4. August (1)
    5. July (1)
    6. June (1)