Dean's Blog - September 2021

Happy Friday Applied Arts,

First off, I want to wish all of you a belated welcome back for the 2021-22 academic year—and add a special welcome to folks new to the Faculty of Applied Arts. It has been a very long time since I last did a blog post. I will re-commit myself to sending these out monthly (I know, I’ve said that before!).

I hope everyone managed to find some time over the spring and summer to step away from the University and relax, recreate, and rejuvenate. Alyson, the kiddos, and I really wanted to be out East with family, but COVID again held us to weekend warrior camping in Yukon. As summer 2021 closed, we welcomed a new family member into the fold—Mike (pic included below)—because apparently you can never have enough chaos in your life.

Here are some updates from across the Faculty and the University at large:

Applied Arts Faculty Council

The inaugural meeting of Applied Arts Faculty Council is scheduled for Oct. 8, 2021. The agenda and meetings documents are available in the shared files directory of our MS Teams site. For the next little while, meetings will happen once a month on Friday afternoons, via Teams. I realize Friday afternoons won’t work for everyone, but we will record meetings. Further down the road, we’ll work on scheduling so AAFC meetings are integrated into our work week more seamlessly.

AAFC Student and Sessional Members

As per the Applied Faculty Council terms of reference, the Council should have up to two student members and two sessional instructor members. In advance of next week’s meeting, please give some thought to who might be good candidates for these roles. The student members will need to be nominated by the Student Union, so I will take recommendations to the SU; I think we should consider honoraria for the students, although this is not currently specified in the TOR. The sessional instructor members will be compensated for their time.

Early Learning and Child Care Initiatives

A huge thanks for Brooke Alsbury, Catherine Bradbury and Aiza Huevos-Cunanan for the extra work they’ve put into developing budget proposals for three interrelated early learning initiatives: a project to help Level 3, with expiry, child-care workers “level-up” their education; a project to develop and pilot innovative practicum opportunities; and a plan to develop an early learning lab in partnership with a Yukon child-care centre. The proposals have been submitted to Yukon Education’s Early Learning department. Hopefully, funding for these initiatives will be on the way soon.

Masking On Campuses

Please remember that masks are required on YukonU campuses wherever physical distancing of 2 metres (6 feet) isn’t possible. This means masks should be worn in hallways, washrooms and, with very few exceptions, classrooms. I have witnessed a number of full classrooms in which instructor and students were all unmasks, with no possibility of physical distancing. Let’s all remember that we are not beyond this pandemic yet—and have an obligation to set a good example for students.

Masking and Enforcement

If you see someone unmask in a public space on campus, you have an OHS obligation to respectfully request that they put one on. If, however, the individual responds to your request in a manner that is rude or hostile, you should refer the matter to Safety and Security. You are under no obligation to continue a conversation about masking if you are feeling threatened or unsafe.

Executive Assistant Position

A posting is now out for an Executive Assistant, Applied Arts position. This position will replace the Administrative Officer position from which Carolyn Kauth retired last spring. With Budget Officers in Finance taking on more of the budget support role formerly played by AOs, and the responsibility for organizing Faculty Council and program advisory committee meetings falling to the dean’s office, it made more sense to look for someone to be the point person for this work, in addition to a host of other duties.

YNTEP Instructor Posting(s)

We will also be looking to fill vacancies in YNTEP this fall. I am still working on getting approval to post for both full-time instructor positions currently vacant.

Budget Development and Forecasting

It is likely we will have to do budget development for 2022-23 and full-year forecasting for 2021-22 simultaneously, starting in October. I am still waiting to see what allocation Applied Arts will receive for next year’s budget.

I think that’s all for now. If I discover I’ve missed something important (highly likely!), I will include it as part of my dean’s update section at Faculty Council.

Take care,

Andrew

Here's Mike:

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