Dean’s Seasonal Message 2022
Dear Members of the Bayes community,
‘Christmas is a box of tree ornaments that have become part of the family’. This is how Charles Schultz, the cartoonist who created Charlie Brown, saw this time of year. I started to understand what he meant when my family unpacked our box of Christmas tree decorations, and carefully placed them on the tree. Each little ornament has its own story - one came from a Christmas market in Birmingham, another from a department store in New York. One had been sent from family in New Zealand while another had been made by one of my children at school.
At this time of year, I always find myself looking back and asking what has happened in the past year. There are certainly many things to savour. It has been my first year as the Dean of our great school, and it has truly been a pleasure to get to know so many people better and understand what they make happen every single day. There have been many things which I have been very proud of Bayes this year. Some are bigger, more public, things like our wonderful summer celebration, our amazing results in the REF for the quality of our research, hosting the Mais Lecture, with former Chancellor and current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and the Tacitus Lecture with David Olusoga OBE and seeing so many students who studied through COVID graduate. But there are many smaller things which make me proud of the people I work with each day. These include someone going out of their way to help a student, another person supporting a colleague, or being contacted out of the blue by Bayes alumni.
I’m reminded each day of the great work which every member of Bayes contributes. To make an institution like ours operate effectively requires all kinds of work – from marking exam papers to responding to reviewers, from sitting in meetings to fixing a technical problem, from running a coaching session to filling in an administrative form. It is all vital and it is all valuable. I’m deeply grateful to all of you for doing this work so well.
I also want to offer thanks to our hard-working students, our supportive alumni, and our partners. You are the reason why we exist, and you continue to represent the School in the best possible way. It is rewarding to know that you are succeeding at Bayes and in the world of work. It is a privilege that so many of you are willing to help our school and community by organising and attending events, making introductions, providing mentoring and advice, and much more. Thank you again for your efforts, support and enthusiasm in all you do.
Although this year has been filled with many high points, it also came with its fair share of struggles. The war in the Ukraine, devastating floods in Pakistan, protests in Iran, political instability in Britain, and a deep cost of living crisis have all made this year difficult. I know that each of these things have personally hit different members of the Bayes community. I hope that next year will bring better times.
This time of year allows us to look back, but it also encourages us to think forward. We ask ourselves what we would like to do in the coming year, what we hope for and how things might change. I am still to work on my list of New Year’s resolutions, but I hope that each of you uses the festive break as an opportunity to take some time to recharge, reconnect with friends and family, reflect on what has been and what you might want to do in 2023.
All my very best,