A new strategic plan

Facilitation chair Joe Piwowar has been leading the consultation sessions. / Michael Chmielewski

Facilitation chair Joe Piwowar has been leading the consultation sessions. / Michael Chmielewski

The U of R looks to update its old 2009-2014 plan

The University of Regina will soon have a new strategic plan that will guide the institution for the next 5 years.

The 2014-2019 plan, so far without a name, is currently being developed. The process started in January of 2014, with internal consultations with the University having just finished in early May. External stakeholders will be consulted over the month of May.

A first draft is planned for June, and according to the U of R’s timeline, the Board of Governors will approve the strategic plan in October.

The new plan will take over for mâmawohkamâtowin: Our Work, Our People, Our Communities, the previous strategic plan that served the institution from 2009-2014. See the article below for an analysis of mâmawohkamâtowin.2009-2014 were both tumultuous and successful times for the U of R. Tuition has constantly risen (including this year, see page 2), but so has enrolment, according to the 2014 Environmental Scan, increasing by fourteen percent over the last 5 years. Self-declared Aboriginal enrollments are also up forty percent in the same time frame.

Not everything is so picture perfect. Although it never went to a vote of non-confidence, President Vianne Timmons had to face discontent and sometimes anger from members of the University Council in September when the body voted on whether or not to have the vote of non-confidence. The motion failed by one ballot. The concerns at the time included transparency, administrative growth, and danger to the academic mission.

A facilitation team chaired by Joe Piwowar, the department head of geography and a Canada research chair, leads the development of the new plan. The team will take the future, along with both the positive and negative events of the last five years, into consideration for the new plan. The team is considering all issues that the community brings up related to the institution.

Piwowar said that the turnout to events has been “really representative of the on-campus community,” in terms of campus staff. Students did come out to the sessions, but “we recognize that these [consultation] sessions were held during exam period, so it’s not really a great time for students to come to these things,” Piwowar explained. To combat this, the team handed out postcards to students, as well as posting information on the URSU website.

There have been other forms of outreach as well. YOURblog, the official U of R blog, has been used by Piwowar to post questions for the University community to debate online. This is convenient, considering most students and many faculty members are away during the summer months.

Few questions have been posted, but the most controversial so far had been whether or not the U of R should become a primarily undergraduate institution.

Provost Thomas Chase explained that this is unlikely. “I can’t imagine that that would be the outcome of the consultative process. If for some reason the consultative process brings back a widespread message that that’s the way the campus community wants to go, I’d say we’re going to have interesting discussions on campus!”

Over the coming summer months, the Carillon will have more stories on the new strategic plan and other U of R stories in print and online.

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