Message from the Dean (January 2023)

Professor Wendy Duff

A message from Dean Wendy Duff

Welcome to the 2023 winter term at the Faculty of Information. While I’ve been away on research leave the last few months, I’m thrilled to be back on campus to wrap up my time as Dean. Not only is a search underway for a new Dean, we are also hiring several new professors who will help shape the future of our Faculty and ensure its continued leadership in the information fields.  

As we emerge from the pandemic, one thing that’s been especially exciting for me is to see our new Learning Hub become the hub of activity we imagined when we renovated the space a few years ago. There are tutors, Mindful Moments meditation sessions and the Sandbox, a dedicated space for play, relaxation and critical making. Last fall we held long-delayed graduation celebrations there and our Practicum students showed off the fruits of their labour, much of which was once again carried out in person with their employer partners. 

This term, Master’s students are moving full speed ahead with plans for their Annual University of Toronto iSchool Graduate Student Conference, which highlights the breadth and depth of their research and invites our community to find out more and explore opportunities to engage. I’m also looking forward to this spring’s Bertha Bassam lecture, the first in more than five years. It will be given by Professor and Dean Emerita Lynne Howarth, who retired in 2021 but still has many valuable insights to share about scholarship and the information professions. 

While many of our activities – including our very popular iSkills workshops – will continue to have an online component, having a full uninterrupted fall semester back on campus was a reminder of how important our physical surroundings are. We’ve been planning a major renovation of the Bissell Building for several years now and are about to take the next steps to making it the perfect home for our new students, staff, faculty members and Dean.

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