Message from the Principal

Message from the Principal


Dear Members of the Massey Community, Chers collègues,

The last few weeks have been difficult for all of us. I want to thank everyone who has participated in the conversation and who expressed their criticism, support, disappointment, or anger. Massey benefits from a very engaged community. I have done lots of reflecting during the last weeks. I have also had a chance to engage with many of you: I spoke with Chief Laforme, had a Town Hall with the Junior Fellows, meetings with University of Toronto representatives, individual calls with various members of the community, and Zoom meetings with staff and with our Governance and Nominations Committee.

I believe that we will get through this with a stronger community that is able to adapt to our challenging times. The world of today is different from the world of 1963 when Massey was created, and it is indeed different from the world of a few months ago.
Many of you have indicated your support for change. Individuals have reached out to me with their ideas and a group of Senior Fellows has penned their support for the College and its mission of inclusivity.

The time is ripe for bold ideas about the future of Massey. We owe it to ourselves to be a place where all Junior Fellows feel welcome and supported, in a rich interdisciplinary environment free from discrimination of any kind, free from anti-Black racism and free from anti-Indigenous racism. I am confident that we can get there and am committed to this journey.


A few announcements:

  1. I am asking for your ideas about Reinventing Massey in 2020. I am very excited about the possibilities of using this time to imagine what we could do to “nourish learning and serve the public good” in 2020 and beyond, when so many challenges confront our societies: from anti-Black racism to responding to the violence and harms of colonialism against Indigenous peoples, from climate change to managing pandemics, from the transformation of global governance to artificial intelligence and its impact on the economy. Send your ideas to
  2. A review of the process of nominations and elections of community members will be done starting August 4th. Send your ideas and suggestions to
  3. The Book Club has selected its reading list for the upcoming year. Because physical attendance may be compromised and therefore we will have to rely on technology, we have decided to commit initially to only three books to see whether the technological format can be successfully adapted to the Book Club discussions. The three books are:
    Policing Black Lives (2017) by Robyn Maynard
    Normal People (2018) by Sally Rooney
    An American Marriage (2018) by Tayari Jones
  4. The Massey Dialogues will continue in the fall. Send your ideas and suggestions of speakers and subjects to
  5. If you are interested in organizing a virtual book launch, conference, or online event at Massey, please let me know as well, by emailing me at
  6. Finally, we are eagerly preparing for our September opening. We will continue to abide by the health and safety directives of the province and the university. As you know, many Junior Fellows have remained in residence this summer and we have managed to stay safe. We are preparing to welcome our new cohort and returning Junior Fellows in September and have reconfigured the Dining Hall and the Porter’s Office to allow for physical distancing and health safety protections. We have also invested in technology to be able to livestream our events and therefore be prepared to offer a mix of in-person gatherings (where possible) and virtual events to continue to support the intellectual life of the College. Stay tuned for further announcements.


I will be away hiking next week, and I look forward to talking to you soon and to hopefully seeing you all in person, with physical distancing of course, in September.

Have a good summer, bon été,


Nathalie Des Rosiers
Massey College