Dear Friends of the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution:
It is with mixed feelings that I write to announce that as of 1 July 2017 I will step down as Academic Director of the Winkler Institute. Since its creation in late 2013, the Winkler Institute has become a vibrant center for research and innovation on dispute resolution, access to justice and the future of the legal profession. We continue to be inspired by our Honorary Chair the Honourable Warren K. Winkler and our leading advisors and fellows, and generously supported by our many donors and funders. Our projects – which, for example, focus on exploring the potential for human centred design, legal technology in justice, ADR and dispute prevention, court reform, and new ways to think about legal education and empowerment – have in a very short space of time established the Winkler Institute as a leading voice in Canadian justice innovation and reform (for more information on our projects, see: https://winklerinstitute.ca/).
In addition to our many projects and initiatives, the Winkler Institute has also established strong collaborations and partnerships with a number of organizations and institutions, including the International Academy of Mediators, the Université de Sherbrooke, Faculty of Law, the Université de Montréal, Faculty of Law, and others. As part of these collaborations, the Winkler Institute partnered to re-establish the Journal of Arbitration and Mediation, the first Canadian bilingual peer-reviewed publication to focus exclusively on dispute prevention and resolution. Also as part of our collaborative approach, we have tried to actively involve students and research fellows as important participants in all that we do.
It has been my honour and great pleasure to act as the inaugural Academic Director of the Winkler Institute and to oversee and guide its creation, development and activities over the past four years. I step down knowing that the Winkler Institute is in good hands. Further to the recommendation of the Winkler Institute Executive Committee at its May 2017 meeting, I am delighted to announce that Nicole Aylwin, who has built the Winkler Institute alongside me as Assistant Director, will be assuming the role of Academic Co-Director. The Winkler Institute would not be what it is today without Nicole’s hard work, energy and vision. Joining her at the helm will be my Osgoode colleague Martha Simmons, who will join Nicole as Academic Co-Director and who will also act as the Winkler Professor in Dispute Resolution. I would like to thank my colleague Professor Shelley Kierstead for her leadership and guidance during her time as Acting Academic Director. Finally, I would also like to thank Osgoode’s Dean, Professor Lorne Sossin, whose vision and leadership have been instrumental in the creation and ongoing success of the Winkler Institute.
While I will be stepping down as Academic Director, I look forward to continuing my work with the Winkler Institute as Chair of its Executive Committee. In that capacity, it will be a pleasure to support the work of the Winkler Institute, my colleagues Nicole and Martha, and all of those who play an active and vital role in the life and activities of Winkler Institute.