An Open Letter to the the President’s Office

A letter composed to the office of the President of the University of Waterloo, urgingĀ  discussion on methods of innovating teaching and learning itself.

I’m contacting you on behalf of a group of students who have begun a conversation – begun to think and brainstorm – on how the University of Waterloo could improve and innovate the learning process itself, sparked by President Hamdullahpur’s request for students to write the National Survey of Student Engagement.

This conversation I’ve observed occurs all the time. Students often sit together for lunch, after or in between class, and think of strategies that could help us master material. There is often a surprising consensus. I drop into these conversations whenever I hear them, and now offer to do the one thing that seems not to have occurred to anyone else: respectfully and cooperatively include the President of the University. The one individual, who perhaps more than anyone else would not only be interested in the subject, but have the desire and ability to effect positive change.

We do not claim to be experts – to know the latest in pedagogy research – but we do offer an opportunity to see inside the minds of your students, information which could perhaps be used in conjunction with experts’ theories when making decisions to push the University to the forefront of innovation.

We are passionate about innovation – we identify with the University of Waterloo; many of us chose this institution “in the spirit of Why Not”? We’ve surmised many of the common, recurring themes and write today to request an opportunity to discuss these with President Hamdullahpur. Please allow us to help you in your quest to innovate learning itself.


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