Those of you living in the Edmonton area are undoubtedly aware that the University has been grappling with budget shortfalls recently, and that this situation has created challenges for the entire campus community.
Faced with the need to reallocate 2.1% from our base budget for 2011-12, the Faculty of Arts implemented a special project to review our administrative procedures. The ultimate goal of this project has been to identify areas where we can be more efficient, and then to redesign our administrative structure in order to achieve these efficiencies. By taking this approach, rather than immediately resorting to cutting positions, we have also hoped to retain as many of our staff members – who are absolutely crucial to the functioning of our departments and programs – as possible.
As I write this, we are in the midst of sorting out exactly what this redesign will look like. And I am confident we are on the road to devising solutions that will allow us to continue to do what we do best: offer high quality programs to our students, while engaging in inspiring research and thoughtful community collaborations.
A situation like this cannot be resolved without sacrifices, however, and I regret to announce that this will be the last printed issue of WOA Magazine for the foreseeable future. This doesn’t mean you will stop hearing from us, but as the writers, designers and publishers among you will realize, printing and mailing a magazine is a significant investment. We have been incredibly proud to deliver our stories to your mailboxes twice a year, and as we move forward we intend to keep bringing you these stories electronically (please see the Letter from the Editor for more information on how we plan to stay in touch).
Rest assured that your Faculty remains committed to our teaching and research goals, and that in fact, it has never been more important for us to pursue these goals. I truly believe the arts have a crucial role to play in this complex, volatile world. Never have we had a greater need for critical analysis, cultural understanding, historical perspective and political involvement. Never have we had a greater need for articulate and thoughtful citizens – people with creativity, confidence and passion, who care about engaging with the world around them and making it a better place.
Each and every one of you is part of this larger story, and I hope you will continue to help us tell it as broadly and as vocally as possible.
Dean of Arts
Photography by U of A Marketing and Communications