Monday, August 31, 2020

On the Importance of Art and Design Research

For the past four years I have had the pleasure to serve and support OCAD University as we have nurtured and expanded our research capacity.

None of this would have been possible without the exceptional team I've been privileged to be part of these past four years. The team in the Research Office has been nothing short of exemplary. It has been a distinct pleasure to work with everyone in our support of research at the University. Our committed and dedicated staff have brought a professional client services lens in support of research excellence. The team is small – but mighty! I will miss working with them - our time together has been fun, but we have achieved many serious things, all while supporting each other to achieve the best we can.

Some highlights of our work: In the past four years our Tri-Agency research funding has increased, our per capita faculty research funding has increased, and the number of faculty engaging in research has increased. I've been pleased to support three new Canada Research Chairs take up their positions and help to lead Art and Design research to new heights here and beyond.

Our highly successful This Is Research communications campaign is now in its fifth iteration. The no-cost Inside Art and Design Continuing Studies course featured a video series featuring the work of our talented faculty. The This Is Research campaign has achieved significant visibility for our research-active faculty across the campus and beyond. The posters, postcards and electronic posters displayed throughout the campus have fostered faculty and student awareness of the important research and research-creation activities undertaken by the OCADU professoriate. They have also been important instruments in our external relations advocacy for amplifying the visibility of OCADU research activities to important government and community stakeholders.

I am proud of the work we have supported, including the Research, Equity, Decolonization, Diversity and Inclusion (REDDI) project. This project continues OCADU’s leadership to ensure that research at the University, and Canada Research Chair appointees, are afforded a supportive and inclusive research environment. COVID-19 has disrupted our work, but has brought to the fore the importance of supporting those who are further marginalized by the pandemic. The current social context emphasizes the need to continue the fight against anti-Black and anti-BIPOC racism, and to support Equity, Decolonization, Diversity and Inclusion in everything we do.

I look forward to continuing to hear about the great work that happens at OCADU. Art and Design are so important to the wider research culture, and I hope that the momentum we have created continues to inspire and challenge.