Starting the conversation

Starting the conversation

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane holds his first open discussion event with the Queen’s community.

October 15, 2019


As Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane makes his way through the first year of his term, he has made it his goal to engage the Queen’s community in an open conversation about the values and direction of the university.  On Tuesday, Oct. 15, students, staff, and faculty attended the first of four conversations that Principal Deane has scheduled over this academic year.

Principal Deane introduced his conversation series to the Queen’s community in September through an open letter, in which he laid out his views on some of the challenges and opportunities facing the university. In order to rise to our full potential, Principal Deane said in his letter, the Queen’s community needs to reflect on itself and establish a vision for what we want our institution to be.

“We need to be self-excelling, to be led daily more by our values and conception of what Queen’s University is and what it exists to do, and less by the demands and imperatives of our day-to-day transactions,” Principal Deane wrote. The conversation series is intended to be a way to gather as much input as possible in articulating an updated vision for Queen’s and its role in society.

To open this first conversation event, Principal Deane acknowledged that Queen’s is located on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee territory. From there, he reiterated his condemnation of the racist and homophobic poster that had been found in a student residence the previous week. In light of this occurrence, Principal Deane urged the audience to consider the ways in which they can help to decolonize the university and society more broadly.

Committed to having a free discussion, Principal Deane opened the floor to questions and comments after a brief introduction. A wide range of participants asked questions and shared ideas, including tenured faculty members, graduate students, and staff members. Over the course of the hour, the conversation touched on many of the issues facing Queen’s today, such as internationalization, diversity, and the mission of the university.

Over the remainder of the academic year, Principal Deane is hoping to continue the dialogue with the Queen’s community at every opportunity. All members of the university community are invited to future conversations with Principal Deane on Nov. 11, Jan. 14, and Feb. 27, and they may also fill out an online form wherein they can express their vision for Queen’s and raise any questions or concerns they might have.

Anyone who attended the first conversation is invited to complete a feedback survey about the event.