Dear members of the Hart House community:
It is with mixed emotions that I write to inform you that I have been appointed Principal and Vice President of the University of Toronto Scarborough, and will be resigning as Warden of Hart House, effective February 28, 2015.
I will be saddened to leave Hart House. It has been an important part of my life for more than 50 years, and during my time as warden, I have greatly enjoyed working with staff, students and alumni on Hart House’s vital educational and social mission. I am extremely grateful for all support you have given me. It has been particularly gratifying for me to have contributed to the leadership role that Hart House plays in strengthening the student experience through its emphasis on co-curricular education, cultural production and experiential learning. Reimagining undergraduate education is one of the key priorities of the President and I expect that Hart House will continue to play a crucial role in this respect, especially through its diverse educational programming and the support that it provides to University of Toronto students across all three campuses.
UTSC is a vital part of the University of Toronto as well, and my greatest loyalty is to the University as a whole. President Gertler has asked me to serve as UTSC Principal, to give leadership to that campus during its current phase of enrolment growth, faculty recruitment and capital expansion, and I have agreed to do so. It’s an exciting place, one of the most ambitious social and educational experiments I have ever been part of, with a tremendous spirit of innovation, inclusivity and community, and I have enjoyed the challenges. If you’ve never visited the campus, or haven’t done so recently, I urge you to do so, and I would be honoured to give you a tour.
During my remaining time at Hart House, I will continue to advance the two major projects I have continued to work on during my interim stint at UTSC–the committees review and Green Heritage Infrastructural Renewal. I intend to bring the relevant recommendations to the Board of Stewards for approval before I leave. While it will be up to another warden to implement them, I pledge to be available to help whenever I can.
It is my understanding that a search committee for a new warden will be struck early in 2015 and that Rita O’Brien will continue as Acting Warden until the new warden is appointed.
I am confident that this will be a seamless transition. I say that because during the last ten months during which I have held both roles, the House has continued to provide outstanding opportunities for student experiential learning and superb hospitality for ceremonial and social events, thanks to guidance of the Board of Stewards, chaired by Dr. Jonathan Steels, and the committed professional staff and student leaders, under the able leadership of Acting Warden Rita O’Brien. Rita and the staff have done a superb job in strengthening programs, services and facilities during the last year.
While this will be another change, it is decidedly not ‘over and out’. I will continue to be deeply committed to Hart House and the unparalleled opportunities it creates for the University of Toronto, Toronto and the world.
With best wishes,
Bruce Kidd, O.C., Ph.D., LL.D.