Dean's Update - August 2017

Hi Applied Arts!

I hope you’ve all had a restful summer and took some time not to think about Yukon College at all. The fall term is fast approaching, so we’re about to enter a very busy period. In anticipation of the new term, here’s some news from across the Division:

New-look Applied Arts

The division changed quite a bit on July 1. Our division now includes the folks from the School of Academic and Skill Development. We have also said farewell to Joanne and Meghan at the Northern Institute of Social Justice, who have moved into the new Continuing Education-focused division, and to Jon, Hillarie and Colleen in Multimedia Communication, which has moved to the School of Business and Leadership in ASM.

Busy Time in Applied Arts Admin

As the fall term ramps up, our admin assistants' workload tends to get intense, too. They are usually the front line for requests and questions from College staff, students and the public. Please keep in mind that they need time, space and relative quiet to get things done in support of a successful start to term. Accordingly, that means the rest of us have to be considerate about basic stuff like noise levels in and around our Applied Arts admin areas. If you're chatting with colleagues you haven't seen for awhile, please consider using your office space for those conversations, particularly during late August and early September. If you're running into some kind of systems-related problem, please remember that our admin assistants want to help but might not be able to help turn things around on a dime. And if the challenge you're facing is likely something completely beyond their control, please bring it to the attention of your chair or myself.

Month of Retreats

You may have noticed your inbox filling up with invites to a few retreats this month. Here's the executive summary:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 23: Joint Instructors’ Retreat at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre.
  • Thursday, Aug. 24: Fall Huddle at Ayamdigut
  • Friday, Aug. 25: School o Academic and Skill Development retreat
  • Morning of Monday, Aug. 28: Applied Arts mini-retreat at the CNIM building - food provided by Lulu's Food Truck! - agenda and related documents will follow soon - Fuze link will be available and the session will be recorded.

I strongly encourage faculty to attend the Instructors’ Retreat, as the previous two were excellent, with engaging speakers, thought-provoking break-out sessions, and ample time to network and socialize with peers. And of course, I encourage everyone to attend Fall Huddle, which is always an energizing pre-fall event--even without Brian Bonia's football metaphors this year. If you are taking approved vacation leave on the day of the Fall Huddle, please ensure that your leave is properly reported in the system.

CAQC Degree-Level Site Visit

In the wake of our very successful organizational site visit back in June, we are now planning towards a CAQC site visit for the Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Governance degree, tentatively slated for late October or early November. So, no slowdown on the degree development front.

Innovation Commons Renovation

As you may have already heard or seen, work on the new Innovation Commons at the Ayamdigut campus has been delayed due to the discovery of a sag in the concrete floor of the former library. Extensive surveys have established that the floor is stable, but planning, prep and work on remediation have pushed back the estimated completion date of the project to the end of the fall 2017 term. In turn, our Facilities, ITLC and Food Services staff have been planning to maintain services during the remainder of the renovation. Library services will be based in C1540 (the former staff lounge), and Kaff services will be housed in C1440 (the Glass Class). Plans for classroom usage and quiet study space for students are in development--more communication to follow. As with disruptions related to last year’s renovation on the exterior of the Ayamdigut campus, I encourage all of you to support one another through whatever challenges come up, and be particularly considerate when it comes to the staff in those departments most immediately affected (Facilities, ITLC & Food Services).

New Hire

Mark Connell already sent out a welcome message to ycstaff earlier this month, but I’d like to introduce Dr. Brian Lewthwaite to the division; hopefully, you'll get to meet him at the Instructors'' Retreat. Brian is the new YNTEP coordinator/faculty advisor. His most recent faculty position was with James Cook University in Queensland, Australia; prior to that, he was professor at University of Manitoba; and throughout his career he has conducted research projects in Canada’s North, including in Yukon with Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation.

Baby News

And last but certainly not least, Lianne Charlie, our indigenous governance instructor, had her baby, Luca, on July 21. Lianne is now enjoying a well-earned mat leave.

Looking forward to seeing you in the weeks ahead!

Take care