Tomorrow marks my last day at Western.
What began as a one-year contract in 2008, evolved into a wonderful working relationship that lasted 14 years. The reasons I stayed so long were simple. I loved the work and I loved the people.
During my tenure, I spent time working with and for three Presidents, four Provosts, five Vice Presidents, six Deans, dozens of faculty members, scientists, clinicians, entrepreneurs, artists, students and an amazing staff, who all began each day serving their perpetual purpose: advancing our collective pursuit of knowledge and making the world a better place to live.
My job also afforded me an opportunity to work with civic, business and institutional leaders throughout the region, colleagues across the country and new business partners around the world.
I very much enjoyed my time working at Western. I learned a great deal and was continually awed by the process of discovery and the talented people behind it. I was also fortunate to work with a number of impressive staff members who were unrelenting in their support of the university’s mission and that of its many public and private sector partners.
Over this 14 year period, we accomplished a great deal together, all of which I prefer to keep as a source of personal reflection and pride. What I will boast about is the impressive array of thought leaders, inventors and innovators that reside in our community and contribute to it every day; not just in the classroom, but through their research, their personal investments in local community causes, and their endless quest to reflect our best selves.
I am particularly grateful for the warm embrace I received from so many members of Western’s community throughout my tenure, including their acceptance of my rather ‘punctuating’ management style. I am also grateful for the opportunities my role afforded me as I was able to apply my business planning, development and restructuring skills to a variety of challenging portfolios both locally and abroad , and in doing so advance the work of our institution, our partners, and our region.
I remain more convinced than ever that our collective investment in education, and specifically post-secondary education, be it through the universities, colleges or trade schools, is worth every penny. These sources of higher learning arm young and old with the skills necessary to solve our greatest challenges, prime our economy and improve our quality of life. They are allies that help sustain our competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive world. They are stewards of humanity that welcome, embrace and enable diverse populations, and help us elevate how we treat one another. They are ambassadors and explorers that open new frontiers for the next generation, be it in another continent or another world.
There are a number of colleagues that I wish to thank personally, and will do so in the coming days. For now, my focus turns toward the spring provincial election and my intent to provide Londoners with a strong, ‘punctuating’ voice at the government table. I believe that I can make a material difference in how London is represented at Queen’s Park, and in doing so, restore London’s influence at home and throughout Ontario.
Thanks again for a wonderful 14 years. I now look forward to my next chapter with equal anticipation, energy and excitement.