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[Institutional Update] Simon Fraser University

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Contributed by Jason Toal, Interaction Design, Centre for Educational Excellence, Simon Fraser University

New Leadership and New Spaces Center Students

With the recent announcement of Joy Johnson as its 10th president and vice chancellor, Simon Fraser University (SFU) is off to a big start in 2020. Between that and the new Centre for Educational Excellence (CEE) forming on July 15, 2019 which, “aligns and builds off of the programming, initiatives, and expertise of SFU’s Teaching and Learning Centre, Centre for Online and Distance Education, and Centre for English Language Learning, Teaching, and Research to provide cutting-edge, integrated course and curriculum support, and innovative, technologically-enhanced teaching services.

CEE Announcement, May 23, 2019, Elizabeth Elle. Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Learning and Teaching

You could say SFU is poised to take on the challenges set out in its recent Academic Plan from 2019-2024. Those being,

1: Student life, learning and success

2: Academic quality/curriculum

3: Engagement

4: Bridging divides

5: Faculty renewal

Aligning with the Academic Plan, the Centre has recently announced its new mission,

“To collaborate with SFU’s learning and teaching community to inspire and support innovative, inclusive and reflective teaching approaches that create enriched and engaging learning experiences for students.”

In other areas of the University innovations and enriched learning experiences are also thriving, most notably with the launch of the new SFU Maker Space operating out of the Library:

The SFU Library first proposed the MMC as part of their mission to build capacity and prepare students for academic success, while simultaneously upholding the university’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. “

The aptly named “Media and Maker Commons” brings together a hands-on learning space, which is open to all SFU students, faculty, and staff. All the usual suspects are present: 3D printers, laser cutters, and soldering stations. It also boasts an array of media services where makers can record podcasts or video lectures, explore VR spaces, and even an old-school typesetter, to explore the classic methods of media communication.

One thing is for sure, the new leadership and new spaces at SFU will offer students ever great opportunities for success.