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Reaching out and reaching up continue to be themes that reflect our activity these past six months. We have moved beyond boundaries and opened our doors to new students, growth, and opportunities.
On May 7, 2013, we officially opened the doors of the new East Side Extension, which is a direct result of the new Master of Social Work program that began in August 2012. Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, The Honourable David C. Onley, was in attendance to officially open our new wing (Click here for photos.)
The new building creates much-needed space for classrooms, a student lounge, and offices. We finished the building on time and on budget, allowing us to begin the spring term with classes in this East Side Extension.
The Master of Social Work surpassed our expectations for applications and capacity in the first year. 2013 appears to be no exception, with applications that are three times the number of spaces available.
This graduate degree is Canada’s first health-focused, online Master of Social Work program, offered in collaboration with the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo.
As we move forward, we want to develop a second graduate degree, through our Social Development Studies program. An initial proposal for a Master of Arts has been developed and is awaiting final budget submission.
Research has taken a new step forward at Renison, with the addition of a Director of Research, who will work closely with Renison faculty to maximize their opportunities for research funding. With almost every full-time faculty involved in research projects, a person dedicated to this focus has been a welcome addition to Renison’s staffing.
Continuing with opportunities, a new Academic Dean has been appointed to provide leadership to our growing academic programs and faculty. Dr. Tom Brenner has accepted the role of Academic Dean and will assist me in a number of duties. Two of his central tasks will be to implement the Strategic Plan (approved by the Board of Governors on December 6, 2012) and to further define the role of Academic Dean.
And, we have also increased our faculty with four new researchers, lecturers, and scholars expert in their individual fields of study.
Staffing is a very important goal in the Strategic Plan. To that end, we have hired a full-time recruitment officer and created a full-time marketing and communications portfolio so that our external reach to the community will deepen and strengthen.
Lastly, as we continue to refine our vision for the future, I will be speaking with you, our stakeholders, as we engage in a dialogue to position our next opportunity for growth.
It is an exciting time and Renison continues to thrive because of its guiding principles: promotion of learning, integrity, responsible stewardship, dignity for all, and creative action. As we consider our place in the future, we know that there will be challenges but those challenges will be surpassed by our will to succeed and excel.
Principal & Vice-Chancellor
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