Change in the winds
I am pleased to announce that the 2014-15 Dean’s Report is now available both online and in print. Originally, I wrote the following as my opening remarks, but I do hope you’ll enjoy reading the full report at your leisure.
In the early sixties, Bob Dylan penned his iconic song, “The Times They Are A-Changing.” To be sure, there was a great deal of social change that had its beginnings in the sixties. Yet, fast-forwarding fifty years, our lives in an academic Faculty of Health Sciences are similarly filled with change.
One of the most dramatic areas of change over the past year has been the tumultuous and somewhat rapid revision to the field of health research in Canada. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has undergone massive transformation with the development of the Foundations scheme and the Strategies on Patient Oriented Research program.
These changes have challenged our health science researchers to rethink their current strategies and adapt to a new reality. Given the flat-lining of research funding over the last several years, this new reality will mean a more challenging environment with respect to grant capture, one that is being intensified by the rapidly evolving need to acquire leverage funding in a grant competition.
Within the Faculty of Health Sciences, we are working tirelessly to optimally position ourselves to meet these challenges, including making specific strategic investments in our research operations. It also includes launching the second phase of our Industry Engagement strategy which, to date, has proved successful in making us more competitive.
Change is also in the winds with respect to our educational initiatives. We recently received the School of Medicine’s Undergraduate accreditation results and were thrilled to receive an eight‑year accreditation. Our School of Nursing is also accredited until 2020 and our School of Rehabilitation Therapy’s occupational and physical therapy programs are both accredited until 2017.
With this solid footing, we can now focus intently on building, launching, and expanding innovative pipeline programs, such as our new Graduate Diploma and Master of Science in Aging and Health, a Master of Science in Healthcare Quality, and a fully online Honours Bachelor of Science.
We are also working in partnership with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada to be the first university in the country to implement competency-based medical education across all of our postgraduate specialty programs.
As always, you’ll find this year’s Dean’s Report is filled with great stories about our clinicians, researchers, educators and, of course, our students. I am continually impressed by the calibre of work that emanates from this Faculty.
Just over fifty years ago, Dylan said:
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
I know our faculty will meet the challenge.
If you would like to comment on this year’s Dean’s Report, please do so below…better yet, drop by the Macklem House. My door is always open.