Message from the Dean: Summer of Kindness

Posted on Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Summer of Kindness


Dear learners, staff and faculty,

On behalf of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), I would like to express our deep appreciation for your strong leadership, remarkable commitment, high standards for excellence across all activities, exceptional professionalism and exemplary resilience. While consistent in all the learning, teaching, research and work that you do, these traits have been especially evident throughout the pandemic. The progress we continue to make on multiple fronts in our internationally renowned Faculty of Medicine is thanks to your steady efforts.

In response, we offer you kindness, indeed a Summer of Kindness. We want to support you in recharging your batteries, and in prioritizing being kind to yourself and others. Your well-being is paramount, and while a breather this summer is important, we know that it is not enough. We are fortunate to have faculty, staff and learners who are engaged and driven, and we must take measures to ensure self-care so that we continue to enjoy our successes in a sustainable way.

From June through August, as part of our Summer of Kindness approach, myself, ELT, and your management team will do our best to follow the practices below, and we encourage you to do the same:

  • Take advantage of uOttawa’s summer hours and our two gift days off (July 2 still to come)
  • Practice self-care by taking breaks, stretching, going for a walk at lunch, exercising or practicing mindfulness
  • Send emails only during regular work hours (not on evenings or weekends)
  • Reduce meeting frequency, and set aside a half-day per week for meeting-free work time
  • Avoid meetings and calls during lunch time, and before and after typical work hours
  • Use your Teams or Zoom camera to create a connection, while respecting an individual’s choice not to use it
  • Allow 5 to 10 minutes of transition time between meetings (depending on their duration)
  • Demonstrate understanding when someone does not respond immediately
  • Check in with your colleagues and be forgiving to yourself and others
  • Practice random acts of kindness
  • Show your colleagues gratitude 
  • Provide staff with flexibility to get their work done while balancing work and home priorities
  • If on vacation, do not monitor devices; messages do not need to be answered while away
  • Remember to access our wellness resources, or share them with a colleague in need

We recognize how much your commitment and hard work set the stage for our achievement of excellence. Thank you!

ELT is committed to a culture of wellness beyond this summer. Let’s turn the Summer of Kindness into a culture of kindness!

Bernard Jasmin, PhD
Dean and Professor, Faculty of Medicine
University of Ottawa


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