Hardly a week goes by when a colleague fails to remind me that “words matter.” As someone who has spent more than one career with just 26 tools in my tool chest, this used to bother me. Of course, words matter. Nowadays, however, I have started to look on this phrase as a necessary reminder in a world that tends to treat words badly.

I will also regularly hear – sometimes from the same person – the term “verbiage” applied to some hapless writer’s hard work. Verbiage sounds like some sort of compost instead of the thoughtful use of the Queen’s English – something that can be spread around like so much manure. “Verbiage” makes me cringe.

By now, you can see that I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to language. True dat. For example, unlike the editors of the Oxford dictionary, I have not accepted the 2016 change to the definition of the word “fulsome” from meaning “complimentary or flattering to an excessive degree” to include “generous or abundant.”  To me a fulsome conversation is still something over the top, not something robust and full. But, as The Borg say (says?), resistance is futile.

Or is it? 

The last 18 months have provided us with many opportunities to reframe the language we use about work, and while some have “pivoted” to do so, much about the way we speak about our new circumstances is lacking.

For example, as my colleague Ruth Dunley points out, many experts are saying we should stop saying “new normal” because it suggests we’ve arrived at a destination when, in fact, we are going through a massive and ongoing period of transition — it would be more accurate to talk about “next normal.” 

Personally, I think we could spend more time thinking about the words we use as we contemplate what the Office of Advancement is going to look like. I, for one, was surprised to hear the form we filled out to indicate our work choices going forward called by some “return to work.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t recall working harder than I have since the pandemic started. 

Another example is the term “working remote.” As an expert told Forbes: “when we use the terminology remote, it makes it seem like, there's this big nerve center somewhere, and I'm out in the outskirts, less relevant. I'm far away from where the action is.” I live and work in a cabin in the woods and sometimes that does feel remote (especially at night when wild things are shuffling about outside my window). On the other hand, with back-to-back meetings all day, four days a week, I have never spent so much time face to face with colleagues. Perhaps “on-campus” and “off-campus” would be better ways to describe our new work arrangements?

This would be a minor change in the way we speak, but one we could claim as a small victory over the fulsome spread of verbiage.

How do you think we should talk about the ways we are changing our work?

National Philanthropy Day (NPD)

By Lisa Riley

National Philanthropy Day (NPD) is celebrated internationally every year on Nov. 15 to recognize the activities of donors, volunteers, foundations, leaders, corporations, and others engaged in philanthropy. This special day celebrates the extraordinary change that fundraising and philanthropy create in the world. 

In 2019, Donor Relations introduced our first "National Philanthropy Week" leading up to NPD as an opportunity to recognize the generosity of donors, make them feel appreciated for their commitment, and raise awareness about the importance of philanthropy among students and future donors. 

This year, the Bader Celebrations campaign will allow Queen's to heighten this awareness for an extended period, beginning with Isabel's 95th birthday on Nov. 1 until Nov. 15, the 80th anniversary of Alfred's arrival on campus (and, coincidentally, National Philanthropy Day!) Concurrently, during National Philanthropy Week, we will highlight donor stories of impact leading up to NPD. A targeted appeal (that will draw inspiration from the Baders) will be sent to all annual donors on Nov. 15 to express gratitude and acknowledge their annual gifts' impact on the Queen's community and the world.

If you have any questions, please direct them to Josh Adler or Lisa Riley.

In-person meetings

By Deanna Bennet

In the Aug. 4 newsletter, Karen let us know the week of Oct. 18 had been tentatively scheduled as the first time we will gather in Kingston in person. Given that Ontario remains in Step 3 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen, the university focus on in-person learning, and limited space on campus, we have made the difficult decision to have both the staff meeting and management meeting virtually. We will turn our attention to planning the quarterly in-person gatherings scheduled the week of Nov. 29. 

Board of Trustees

Queen’s University Board of Trustees met on Sept. 24 and 25. A copy of Advancement’s Report and Dashboard presented at that meeting is now available for all Queen’s Advancement staff. 

Driving Development update

Driving Development Update: It’s hard to believe it’s been three months since we kicked off the Driving Development Initiative! We’ve made incredible progress towards our objectives and continue to be on track for achieving our goals. Learn more about what we’ve accomplished so far and where the next few months will take us. 

Employee Spotlight

The Employee Spotlight celebrates the arrival of our new staff and current staff by profiling responses they share through a fun and informal survey that will help us get to know them better. Be sure to review these profiles and use these fun facts and tidbits to find commonalities, embrace differences and spark a conversation.

Today's current Advancement staff feature is, Simon Labbett, in the position of Associate Director, Application and Infrastructure, Advancement Services.

Jobs with Advancement

We need your recruitment help. Know great talent that would be a good addition to our team? If so, please promote the vacancies below with your networks and let’s find some amazing new team members.

Applications (including a cover letter and résumé) must be submitted through CareerQ. For additional information on this posting, please reach out to either Carla Ferreira Rodrigues or the hiring manager for the position you are interested in.

Apply for available positions

Director, Strategic Communications & Events J0721-1031 Communications and Marketing October 4, 2021 11 Continuing
Development Officer, Athletics & Recreation J0921-0849 Advancement/Fundraising October 3,2021 8 Continuing
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