Dear Sprott Colleagues and Students,

As we settle into our second week of remote working, learning, teaching and living, we are realizing that this is, as our President says, our ‘new normal’. For many of us, this new and changing situation is characterized not only by the challenge of figuring out how to effectively learn and work at a distance; but also, nearly every aspect of our daily lives and routines have changed in one fell swoop. If you are finding this disorienting and challenging, you are not alone. Please be kind to yourself and to one another.

Across Carleton and Sprott, we have been pulling together as a community to respond to the situation in as caring and understanding a manner as possible. In the weeks ahead, as we spend more time away from one another and our social environments, we will need our community more than ever. Let’s try to create as many opportunities as possible to touch base with one another without unduly imposing on our time and competing demands.

Our Associate Deans, program directors and program administrators have been reaching out to students regularly.  Our amazing student advisors in the program offices and Business Career Management Centre are organizing a number of workshops and interactive forums to engage with students and help them build useful skills. And our faculty and instructors are working exceptionally hard to adapt to new circumstances and to ensure that students are well supported in their learning for the rest of the term. We are all listening, learning and adapting together.

This week, I will re-launch ‘Tea and Biscuits’ with the Dean’ in a virtual format. Undergraduate students have been invited to register on mySuccess. This event is an opportunity for students to have an open and informal discussion with me about their thoughts, aspirations and reflections on the big issues of our time. I relish this time with students and see it as a way of gaining insight into how we can continuously improve our learning environment and opportunities at Sprott.

We have opened up new forums to connect with staff, faculty and instructors as well. On Friday last week, we held our first remote coffee chat for staff. Coming at the end of a long week of huge changes in our life, the chat was a welcome reunion and a chance to appreciate one another and each person’s unique circumstances. Our first faculty e-learn check-in session will take place this afternoon. We will hold a similar session for contract instructors on Monday (information to come) and there will be more to follow. I am hoping that we can use these forums to work through any challenges and identify best practices to share with one another. Alongside these forums, the Sprott management team has been in touch with many of our faculty, instructors and staff. We are doing our best to respond quickly to issues and to support our colleagues and students, perhaps with mistakes along the way, but always with the best of intentions.

While we respond to the immediate issues, we are also starting to think ahead. How are we, as a business school, going to play a role in helping businesses to adapt and sustain during and beyond the current crisis? What can we do to celebrate and facilitate good business practices that balance economic, social and community needs, in line with our values at Sprott? How can we help our students to bring their talents to this new situation and identify opportunities? Many of you are working on these issues and speaking out about them. Thank you. Behind the scenes, we are planning forums and projects to engage our community and partners in conversations and practical work to shape the future. I personally welcome ideas from all of you and will do all that I can to facilitate new initiatives to work alongside businesses and business leaders as they navigate these unchartered waters.

As we continue making our way through this together, I want to extend my deep appreciation to all of you who are working hard and doing your best in this current situation. Most of all, I am grateful that we work in a community that is understanding and compassionate. Let’s continue to look out for one another and take care of ourselves. I am here to do whatever I can to support you.

Best wishes,

Dana

Dana Brown
Dean, Sprott School of Business
Carleton University

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 in ,
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