I arrived at Emily Carr nearly 22 years ago in 1996. One of the first questions addressed to me was from a faculty member who wanted to know my feelings about the art school. I said it would take time for me to adjust, learn and understand the history and importance of the institute. After all this time, I can say unreservedly that we are all lucky to be working in such a compassionate and wonderful place.
I am deeply grateful to the faculty and staff of Emily Carr for their support, hard work and dedication that have made this one of the top art and design universities in the world. I am very proud of our achievements and successes, all of which have resulted from our shared commitment to educating new generations of artists, designers and media practitioners.
For me, these 22 years have been defined by our success in gaining membership in Universities Canada, developing and launching graduate degrees, founding research centres and sustaining a research profile that is the envy of other art and design universities in Canada and the US, growing our international student base from seven to nearly 30 per cent of our full-time students, growing our Indigenous student body from four students to over 100, building and expanding new curricula in all our areas, achieving university status and, of course, the completion of our magnificent new campus.
These achievements were collective efforts and every one of you should feel proud of where we find ourselves today. Some of you have been on this journey with me for a very long time. Some of you joined midway and some of you are new to Emily Carr. All of us share a commitment to our communities and a deep respect for our history and heritage. The value of the arts to our society and to our future must be protected, and it is our job to promote, defend and enhance the work of creative people in all facets of everyday life.
I will continue to be very open and demonstrative about the value of our university in every venue and public gathering to which I am invited. I wish everyone at Emily Carr the very best for the future, and I know that you will all continue to be passionate advocates for the importance of the work that we do for our students and for the community.
Dr. Ron Burnett
C.M., O.B.C., Chevalier, RCA