Hi everyone,

As many of you will know by now, I have accepted the Presidency of The University of British Columbia and my last day as President and Vice-Chancellor of Carleton will be August 31 – about two weeks from now. I am thankful that long-serving Provost Jerry Tomberlin has agreed to take on the Interim Presidency, starting September 1, and I am confident that under his excellent leadership Carleton will maintain its great momentum throughout 2023-24 and beyond.

It has been a great honour and privilege to serve the Carleton community since the start of my mandate in July 2018. I am so grateful for what we have accomplished together these past five years, despite a worldwide pandemic that disrupted our operations for over two years.

Among many shared successes, I am particularly proud of the Strategic Integrated Plan (SIP) that continues to guide the university’s progress. This recent Progress Update 2023 attempts to capture some of the key accomplishments and highlights since we launched the SIP in 2020.

Over that time, we have achieved incredible research successes. Remarkably, our annual research funding – a good proxy for research quality and impact – has seen an increase of 80%. It is noteworthy that the top scientist in Canada this year is Carleton’s own Lenore Fahrig, recipient of the Herzberg Prize.

We have also enjoyed marked advances in student success, student satisfaction and pedagogy. Looking back on many wonderful days and great highlights, none are better than Convocation and I take immense pleasure in knowing that, over my time at Carleton, we have graduated well over 30,000 students, each on their way to a successful and self-determined life. And notwithstanding the pandemic, everyone had the opportunity to cross the stage.

We can also take pride in the remarkable progress our community has made on Indigenous initiatives, mental health and wellness, accessibility, sustainability, as well as equity, diversity and inclusion. There is still a lot of work to be done, but we can take a moment to look back and see how far we have come.

This year we also renewed our Campus Master Plan and saw our new 450-bed student residence start to take shape towards an official opening in the fall of 2025. This caps a remarkable phase of campus development that has included the Health Science, ARISE and Nicol buildings, as well as the new Engineering Design Centre.

There are simply too many fantastic accomplishments to underscore but let me add a few quickly: closing the $308 million Here for Good fundraising campaign in 2019, making Canada’s Top 100 employers list for the first time in 2022, the inaugural Carleton Challenge Conference on the topic of mental health and the incredible double National Basketball Championship in 2023.

There is no question that Carleton’s reputation, locally and nationally, is on the rise. It will be good for Carleton to benefit from new and reenergized leadership just in time to renew the Strategic Integrated Plan and launch the next major fundraising campaign in 2025. I have absolutely no doubt that the momentum we have built together will continue to grow and that, more than ever, the future is extremely bright for Carleton.

As always, I would like to sincerely thank each and every member of the great Carleton community for everything you do and for giving me so much to be grateful for. I wish you all the best as you continue to grow this smart and caring community, to challenge the status quo and to build a better world through the power of higher education.

Have a wonderful day,


Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

Tuesday, August 15, 2023 in ,
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