President's Welcome

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the Canadian Council of Biology Chairs! We are an organization that connects chairs and heads of Biology (and other biological disciplines) departments across Canada. Our organization has been established for over 50 years and we have a long history of connecting with each other about issues, processes, and challenges that we all face in our academic units. I joined CCUBC at the beginning of my role as chair three years ago, and I have found incredible value in meeting with my counterparts across Canada. It has shaped the conversations that I have had upon returning to my own department around tenure & promotion processes, performance evaluation, curriculum design and the pandemic. I have learned so much through discussions with my peers in this organization and it very much has helped me in my role as chair.

We meet annually in the fall of each year, rotating between east, central and west. We discuss a variety of topics of interest to everyone and it presents an excellent forum to network and create connections with peers in an environment that is open and inclusive. This past fall, we met in Banff at the Banff Lodge Hotel, and it was a pleasure to meet new and interim chairs/heads and see those again who were at my first in person meeting in Halifax in 2022. We discussed performance evaluation and peer review of teaching, and it was fascinating to see how different the processes can be across the country and then others that are quite similar. Following the meeting in Halifax, I came back to UW and developed a mentoring program for new faculty based on the ideas from other chairs/heads. This fall, we are meeting in Ottawa and I hope that we can see representation from across the country. I also welcome thoughts and ideas about topics we can address, including challenges that you are encountering and would like feedback on. We are also hoping for an opportunity to engage with the Federal government on NSERC funding and graduate scholarships. I know that these are critical concerns that are facing all our departments. It is our hope that attendees will leave the CCUBC meeting with some ideas to make their role as head or chair a little bit easier.

If you are not yet a member and have questions, I encourage you to reach out to me for more information and I would be happy to have a conversation about the benefits that CCUBC provides. Thank you.

With warm regards,

Kirsten Müller
Professor & Chair
Department of Biology
University of Waterloo