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A message from the Dean to RSJ students

March 10, 2021

Dear Journalism Students,

I hope that you and your loved ones are doing well.

Following the recent events at the School of Journalism, I wanted to reach out to you and provide a brief update. 

Last weekend Janice Neil and Lisa Taylor offered their resignations as Chair and Associate Chair respectively, which I accepted. I want to thank Janice and Lisa for their years of service and hard work at the school. Janice has agreed to continue in her role for a short while as we plan a transition.

Over the last few weeks, I have met with several student groups and listened attentively to concerns brought forward. In addition, I have carefully read the recommendations made by students in the recently published open letter  (google doc) It is time for change: A call for change at the Ryerson School of Journalism. (external link) 

Thank you for bringing these issues to my attention in such a clear and constructive way. I’m deeply troubled by the pain experienced by many students and promise to work with the faculty and staff at RSJ to consider your suggestions and to put into action as many of them as possible in a timely manner. As your Dean, it is a responsibility that I take seriously and commit to finding a way forward that is safe and rewarding for all students. 

Your plea to the school and to me personally shines an important light on the realities of discrimination, racism, and injustice that pervade our society and institutions. As a leader of this community, I recognize the way I myself may advertantly or inadvertently contribute to the problem. The way to move forward is to work together towards real change and accountability.

I will be supporting Journalism faculty and staff as they develop a clear results oriented action plan. This plan will be sent to you by our faculty in a few days and demonstrates a  commitment to enhanced change. It will include more regular offerings of courses relating to diversity in Journalism, equity training for faculty and staff and the establishment of an equity task force. Everyone at RSJ continues to be totally committed to your well being and success. We will appoint interim leadership for the transition period soon, but will also immediately initiate a broad search to select a new chair.  Such leadership will be experienced, innovative and passionate about the field and will also have a lived experience that helps them understand the challenges of marginalized students and foster an environment where they can thrive.

You have done a lot so far in changing the culture of the school. I encourage you to keep the dialogue going and invite you to meet with the School Faculty Outreach Committee to further unpack your suggestions as we work towards developing a plan for the immediate and long term future. Above all through this dialogue we will ensure accountability on an ongoing basis. You can also reach out to me personally at any time.

To sum up, I want to thank you and tell you that I truly regret the distress that you have felt. I assure you that the School of Journalism and I are assuming the responsibility of making things better.


Charles Falzon (he/him)


Faculty of Communication and Design

Ryerson University