December

Thank you to everyone for all your tremendous efforts and successes in 2020. Student satisfaction was high, despite obviously difficult circumstances. We have been forced to learn new approaches and technologies. Necessity being the mother of invention, hopefully we have invented some approaches that will serve well into the future.

We ended the year on a financially sound basis. While we expect the worst financial impacts to come in 2021 due to loss of commencing international students, our performance this year should give us great confidence for the long term. Of course, our future financial strength will not just happen of its own accord. It requires continuing to develop a curriculum that serves both economics specialists and the much larger body of students who take economic units electives. We have made a lot of progress on this front over the past few years, and this will be an ongoing project. I ask that everyone think about curriculum opportunities, based both on your own reflections but also on experiences or observations from other universities.

We will have an external review in the latter part of 2021. This is an opportunity for us to reflect systematically as a department on our strategies to ensure a brilliant future. Each of us will be asked to contribute thoughtfully to our self-review, both individually and in small groups. We will start that process early next year, but it's worth each of us thinking about opportunities in advance, so they have time to develop. I believe we have done very well indeed over the past decade due to a spirit of innovation and a commitment to quality. We can tell that story effectively in a review, but the real point of a review is how to do even better in the future. That will of course require even more innovation, and that is the job of all of us.

Wishing you all the best for the upcoming holidays!

Professor Michael Ward