aerial photo of the campus in the fall season

Provost’s Special Teaching Award for Outstanding Achievement

We, the Deans, collectively and unanimously, in acknowledgement of the extraordinary efforts of the faculty of VIUFA and BCGEU to rethink, redesign, and deliver curriculum, both on campus and off, within tight timelines, distressing circumstances, and a sea of unknowns, wish to nominate you, the Faculty of Vancouver Island University, for the Provost’s Special Teaching Award for Outstanding Achievement.

We recognize and appreciate your individual and collective commitment and positive contributions to the lives and learning of your students, to the disciplines and skills which you teach, to your colleagues, and to our university.

We recognize the enormous efforts of those of you who remained on campus throughout, who had to manage complex and stringent protocols while teaching amidst the challenge of constantly changing pandemic news. We recognize the stress and uncertainty you and your students faced in moving forward, especially before vaccines were available. Redesigning, and then following the protocols meant changing both how students worked and learned, and how you could teach; you became our frontline workers.

We recognize the outstanding efforts of the many faculty who had to wrestle with the complicated pedagogical challenge of taking traditionally face to face courses and delivering them online through a variety of means and skills, many of them newly acquired. Often that meant redesigning curriculum and tools of assessment, while working to thoughtfully build-in ways to help students feel connected to the educational experience and to each other.  Many of you took on the additional challenge of figuring out how students could do high-touch courses without the resources of the institution, and you produced kits and supplementary materials and resources to make that happen. Many of you also reached out to colleagues, sharing diverse technical skills, ideas and resources, and moral support.

We recognize your ongoing tenacity in changing and adapting as the public health orders changed. You supported your students in continuing on the path of their educational goals, bringing all your instructional skills effectively to the task. We recognize the added difficulty of communication in a classroom where the valued feedback loop of facial expression is much reduced, and where exhaustion, illness, sadness and grief are often amplified by the prolonged state of uncertainty and heightened vigilance necessitated by this pandemic. 

By nominating you collectively we wish to honour the contributions you each made individually to the challenges of teaching through a pandemic.  We want to recognize and celebrate your efforts, and also the creativity, commitment, and compassion that you brought to this difficult work.

We are nominating you, the Faculty of BCGEU and VIUFA collectively, in the recognition that you have all faced personal and professional challenges brought about by this pandemic, some of which are clearly evident, but many of which have been borne by you and by your families without public acknowledgement. Thank you for your commitment as educators.

Thank you.
June 2022