Through two unprecedented years of responding and adapting to a global health crisis, many of us have felt disconnected from each other, the York community, and the local and global communities we serve. But if we look closer, it becomes clear that the impact of what we do – our pedagogical breakthroughs, knowledge-translation, ingenuity and innovation – transcends cultures and borders.
As a 21st-century university with a mandate to right the future, York University continues to expand its role as a nexus where academia and industry, people and place, challenges and solutions converge to catalyze the necessary social, cultural, environmental and economic development that will chart the way forward through the recovery period and beyond.
The Canadian health-care ecosystem, for instance, is currently in dire need of nurses, doctors and other health-care experts. York’s interdisciplinary expertise and existing partnerships with the City of Vaughan, Mackenzie Health and VentureLAB on a new Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct (VHCP) are furthering our vision for a more integrated, preventive and community-focused model for health care that contributes to the supply of future health professionals and the vibrancy of the regional economy and creates greater health equity for underserved communities. In line with York’s reputation as a progressive university, we continue to engage our local and global communities to ensure that our projects are informed by the evolving needs of the diverse groups they are designed to serve.
Over the past few years, we have introduced and hosted an unprecedented number of community and stakeholder consultation meetings and interactive Presidential Townhalls for all our major initiatives, from the VHCP plan and our conceptual proposal for a School of Medicine to York’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy and the development of the Markham Campus.
One of the defining challenges facing us all – climate change – is another area where universities have a crucial role to play. Through our Living Well Together: Keele Campus Vision and Strategy, we are re-envisioning our campuses to create more environmentally sustainable and integrative spaces for us to live, work and study while strengthening our connections with the city, the land and one another. The spillover effects of our physical campuses reach every corner of the globe. At York’s Las Nubes EcoCampus in Costa Rica, our capacity as an agent of positive change manifests in conservation research and programs in areas that range from biodiversity protection to cutting-edge environmental management technologies. A new Las Nubes Strategic Plan will amplify our current capacity with additional environmental education programs and offerings.
These are just a few examples of how our York community has been an unstoppable incubator of ideas and innovation working with partners to forge meaningful connections across sectors. The 2022 President’s Annual Report highlights the many ways York University – as one of the world’s top 35 in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings for meeting its sustainable development goals – continues to strengthen our impact on the complex global issues of today and the future. To learn more about York’s accomplishments of the past year, visit go.yorku.ca/presidentsreport2022.