Dear students, faculty, and staff,
Welcome to 2022! As we settle into the start of term, I want to express my appreciation to each of you for being here as part of the Acadia community. Nothing seems easy during a global pandemic - travelling to campus, shifting from in-person to remote learning and working, and navigating health directives. Even gathering with family and friends requires vigilance. Without a doubt, these are challenging times.
We are constantly being inundated with messages that affect teaching, learning, working, and living. Like me, I suspect you are tired and frustrated with having to manage through the everchanging phases of the pandemic, and the continued intrusion upon our lives.
To counter the negative impact of these challenges, I focus on WHY. Focusing on what we are here to achieve helps keep me motivated and reminds me that above all else, kindness to others and consideration of their needs is uniquely essential as an attribute. Here are some of my WHYs:
- Why am I triple vaccinated and following health protocols? Because I need to do my part to protect our community and my own health.
- Why did we decide to bring students back to fully in-person learning in the fall of 2021? Because the human experience of learning and living in the community is essential to Acadia’s education values and we could do so in a way that could keep everyone healthy and safe.
- Why are we implementing a strategic plan during a global pandemic? Because you and Acadia deserve a bright future and we cannot let the pandemic completely derail us from pursuing our vision and goals.
- Why are we taking measures to combat racism and indigenize the campus? Because equity, diversity, and inclusion serve us all and make us better individually and collectively.
Keeping an eye on the bigger picture and what matters most is so important when in the midst of a crisis. In 2021, we had hoped to say goodbye to COVID-19 and get back to "normal." Now, in 2022, we are learning to live with COVID-19 and its variants in our day-to-day lives. We are making history as we navigate the pandemic and adapt to change.
Thank you for doing your part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and for all your kindness and patience as we work our way through challenges. History shows us that supporting each other during hard times is the very essence of not only surviving but coming through stronger than ever.
I am confident that we will see ourselves out of the pandemic this year and if we stay focused on our WHYs, we will write a chapter in Acadia's history books that will make us all proud.
Dr. Peter Ricketts
President and Vice-Chancellor