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President's Goals

President and Vice Chancellor 2018 – 2019 Annual Goals

Vancouver Island University (VIU) continues to increase its regional, national, and international reputation as a values-based leader in promoting education as a key determinant of social change and economic prosperity. Increasingly, the institution is being invited to participate in dialogues on social innovation and social change where education is recognized as a driver of social and economic transformation. Through private and public not-for-profit organizations, philanthropic organizations, government organizations, private business, and industry, VIU’s action and outcomes in social and economic engagement are being recognized as a good investment. This year will bring a significant increase in new dialogues but, more importantly, new investment in action to facilitate change through access to high-quality education. And of particular importance is leveraging these strengths to recruit, attract and retain high-quality leadership to support VIU's continued evolution as a values-based, high-quality learning environment fully-engaged in the communities it serves. 

The 2018-2019 academic year at Vancouver Island University will be celebratory with the completion (or close to) of the new Health and Science Centre, the new Trades Precinct facilities, and the realization of the benefit of the new District Geo-Exchange Energy System project. Investment in the institution will continue with the introduction of the new VIU People Strategy; the continued transition to the new administrative IT systems through Project AURORA; the introduction of the updated Academic Plan titled Access to Excellence; the introduction of a new Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity Plan; the increase in leadership for Aboriginal education and reconciliation; and the active engagement in an essential capital campaign. This is not an inclusive list of all the projects, but representative of the evolution and growth of the institution as a leader in education in the region, provincially and nationally.

The institutional strength and reputation of Vancouver Island University continues to grow based on the community of people who make up VIU and who believe in education as a building block for the development of human capacity. People at VIU care about each other and the students we support.  We have invested in collectively building an institution that cares about people, fosters access for all, and invests in student success by providing an innovative, high-quality learning environment. People at VIU appreciate their opportunity to work in a culture with colleagues with common values.

The University cannot achieve its mandate or the innovation it represents without actively engaging in partnerships and collaborations. These authentic relationships are essential to the institutional success in supporting student learning environments and meeting the needs of the communities it serves. VIU is one of the largest contributors to the mid-island economy and is integral to the fiscal health of the region. VIU recognizes and celebrates its role in the region as a “community anchor” and will continue to accept this leadership responsibility by investing in numerous initiatives to address the multi-dimensions of poverty, continuing to build pathways for access for all populations, and enhancing the quality of life for all people in the regions it serves. Leadership will continue in building an Education Enterprise Zone/Region based on collaborative investments and collective action that will foster social change.

There are always many challenges in leading a university. Provincially, we are seeing a transition in government direction. Building relationships with the government and contributing to the provincial dialogue as one of the twenty-five publicly supported post-secondary institutions in the BC ecosystem will be important work. VIU will continue to lead where the institutional innovation will benefit the system, even in this final year. As President and Vice-Chancellor at VIU, I recognize the responsibility to continue to leverage VIU’s growing reputation to enhance the institution’s capacity to drive social change and economic prosperity in the region and province. Set out below are the annual goals of the President and Vice-Chancellor that represent my leadership commitment to the VIU Board of Governors.

With the foundation of the VIU Mission, Vision, and Values and through the continued development of the key documents in the VIU Integrated Plan, the following directions were developed. Seven broad goals have been identified, with non-exhaustive lists of actions necessary to achieve the goals.

1. Maximize Student Learning, Engagement, and Success

  1. Recognize the importance of leadership transition and supporting a positive focus on student-centred learning at VIU.
  2. Provide leadership as President and Chair of Senate for an institutional focus on teaching, learning, and student success as demonstrated through the successful achievement of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training (AEST) annual outcomes identified in the Institutional Accountability Plan.
  3. Celebrate student achievement and success across the institution and in the community.
  4. Through University Relations and the Vancouver Island University Foundation, continue the focused capital campaign to raise funds in support of the first phase of the Health and Science Centre, the Trades facilities, the District Geo-Exchange Energy System project and other institutional initiatives that enhance the learning environment for students, engage the community, and promote student success.
  5. Initiate housing projects to enhance the on-campus opportunities for dynamic student living and learning environments.
  6. Continue building increased student participation in fundraising across various initiatives at VIU.
  7. Actively seek financial contributions to support student transition to post-secondary education (PSE), success in PSE, and transition to work, engaging in initiatives like the Canada Learning Bond Program, the Kids in Care initiative, the EleV project, the BCBC Champions Table, social impact initiatives, etc.
  8. Foster a partnership with the Federal government, McConnell Foundation, other regional institutions, and philanthropic groups to increase the number of coalitions in BC and across the country with a focus on reconciliation and social change. An example is a partnership VIU initiated last year which included the Regional District of Nanaimo, Indigenous communities, municipalities, school districts, Island Health, and others in the community to increase the recognition and support for children living in poverty and to enhance their opportunities for access to post-secondary education.
  9. Support the enhancement of work-integrated learning (experiential learning) for VIU students and the co-curricular record.
  10. Recruit and retain faculty and staff who will strive to ensure that VIU continues to deliver high quality learning environments for students in a culture that attracts high-quality personnel.
  11. Continue to support the development of a marketing and communications division to address the critical challenge of increasing student numbers (particularly domestic students) through recruitment and retention activities.
  12. Support the comprehensive Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity Plan for VIU and enhance the strong undergraduate research focus across the institution.
  13. Support continued investment in the Aboriginal Education Plan for VIU and continue to encourage new initiatives to support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. Deliver on the access to excellence project (EleV) with the MasterCard Foundation and continue to attract investment in social innovation, social finance, and change through education.
  14. Support the continued evolution of the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning (CIEL) to provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff to enhance the learning environments for students and enhance learning through professional development for all members of the University community.
  15. Support the Provost’s office to conduct a national search to recruit a highly-qualified individual to lead Student Affairs at VIU.

2. Enhance the University Community

  1. Engage in dialogue and action to support leadership transition and build a positive focus within the institution to support leadership change.
  2. Support enhanced communications and other strategies to foster an environment of positive employee relations. Focus on VIU as a values-based university and provide leadership through education for social change.
  3. Continue to celebrate faculty and staff achievement and success.
  4. Support the Senior Management Group and President’s Council to actively engage in dialogue within their areas of responsibility on institutional issues to:
    • ensure a smooth and confident transition in leadership;
    • continue building a collective recognition of the revenue imperative and a focus on enhancing domestic enrollment;
    • encourage active communication, transparency, and accountability;
    • support the implementation of all aspects of the Integrated Plan;
    • identity institutional risks and mitigate to reduce exposure;
    • support capacity across the institution through competency growth (professional development); and
    • foster dialogues on social innovation and education as a determinant of social change.
  5. Continue building strong and supportive relationships with all employee groups.
  6. Meet regularly with the Students’ Union leadership to encourage ongoing dialogue on leadership transition and collective efforts to address student-related concerns across all campus issues.
  7. Support the ongoing efforts to build institutional culture and establish appropriate approaches to measure institutional culture.
  8. Support the rollout of the VIU People Plan, the new Human Resources Integrated Plan.
  9. Build, measure, and highlight VIU as a sustainable university with a focus on social change.
  10. Celebrate the achievement of VIU in meeting the sustainable development goals (SDGs) as outlined by the United Nations.
  11. Increase the engagement of faculty and staff in institutional philanthropic activity in support of capital projects, student access/excellence, and faculty scholarship/research.
  12. Continue support of the Advancement and Alumni Office to increase outcomes from the Alumni Engagement Plan by enhancing the number of alumni contacts and increasing the number of active alumni contributors.
  13. Continue to support the planning for VIU Athletics to initiate transition to Canadian Intercollegiate Sport (CIS) competition and, further, to plan new teaching facilities in physical activity, recreation, and sport to support the academic curriculum and the wellness program across the campus community.
  14. Enhance the engagement in the Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity Plan by supporting the enhancement of the quality, quantity, and funding for scholarship, research, and creative activity at VIU.
  15. Initiate the construction of new housing facilities for students on campus, investing in a minimum of 600 to 700 beds, as outlined in the demand study.

Indigenous Commitment

  1. Engage with communities and support dialogue on the transition of leadership at VIU.
  2. Listen to communities and continue to build on the strength of Indigenous community partnerships, providing guidance to VIU in ensuring a supportive learning environment for Indigenous students.
  3. Enhance the VIU learning environment by including Indigenous traditional knowledge across the university curriculum and within the university culture.
  4. Celebrate the partnerships with the community and continue to build a welcoming environment for all Indigenous students at VIU.
  5. Advocate for funding to enhance access to PSE for Indigenous students through new initiatives of the Provincial government.
  6. Advocate for support to enhance access to PSE for Indigenous students through a broad scope of initiatives with the Federal government.
  7. Explore all opportunities to enhance education support through conversations and partnerships with Indigenous governments.
  8. Collaborate with AEST (Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training) to build new pathways and delivery mechanisms for Indigenous communities who have limited access to PSE programming within their region.
  9. Continue to enhance the support for initiatives to support the recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
  10. Build international collaborations with Indigenous universities and communities to enhance the understanding of Indigenous issues globally.
  11. Enhance the activity and engagement of VIU in Indigenous education across the region and across Canada, especially with philanthropic organizations and not-for-profit agencies.
  12. Build relationships and projects with business and industry to foster support for access, success, and transition to work for Indigenous students.
  13. Continue to enhance a national Indigenous lecture series in partnership with the CBC and The Laurier Institution to be broadcast nationally.
  14. Partner with regional Indigenous communities and support repatriation of cultural works which have been removed from the communities, such as the Atleo Pole located in the Peabody Museum at Harvard University, and align this activity with the Provincial government’s initiative on repatriation.
  15. Support Indigenous and industry community partnerships focused on Impact Benefit Agreements that provide relevant education for community members to achieve capacity for engagement and success in the partnership.
  16. Support the exploration of the potential creation of a Faculty of Indigenous Education/Studies.
  17. Attract and retain Indigenous faculty and staff.  Identify specific resources to support the hiring of Indigenous faculty across all faculties who may align with a new Faculty of Indigenous Education/Studies.

Build Institutional Quality

  1. Support dialogues on transition and support all activity to attract experienced and capable leadership to VIU that aligns with the values of the institution and excellence in PSE.
  2. Work with AEST to understand and shape the government’s focus and direction on PSE in BC.
  3. Continue to instill cross-institutional responsibility to focus personnel decisions on attracting and retaining the highest quality faculty and staff available that will build the institutional reputation as an excellent university learning environment.
  4. Support the evolution of the institutional dashboard of key measures of institutional quality and success for annual discussion at the Board of Governors retreat.
  5. Support the succession plan for the President, where appropriate.
  6. Build institutional quality through implementation of the new and enhanced components of the VIU Integrated Plan (i.e. People Plan).
  7. Continue building recognition of institutional quality in the region through promoting VIU’s strengths in teaching, research, and community engagement and the delivery of high quality graduates from all credential programs.
  8. Support institutional nominations for awards and honours for the VIU community and its members (Royal Society of Canada, 3M Teaching Award, Global Teaching Excellence Award, etc.).
  9. Support teaching, learning, and the administrative system renewal (Project AURORA – A Unified Renewal of Related Applications), and continue to invest in institutional IT systems’ remediation to build the institutional capacity and capabilities that VIU requires to evolve.
  10. Understand the government’s focus on capital investment and in student housing while continuing to articulate the need for renewing facilities to provide quality learning environments for students, faculty and staff.
  11. Enhance the institutional reputation for quality scholarship, research, and creative activity by supporting faculty applications for external funding of scholarship and research at VIU, and increase the number of highly-qualified students funded through externally-funded national granting agency awards for student scholarship, research, and creative activity engagement, support the communication of the success of all scholarship, research, and creative endeavors.
  12. Build institutional capacity to foster social innovative investment and, in particular, social impact bond initiatives for education programs that are fostering social change. VIU is building a reputation as an innovative institution with a focus on education being a key determinant of social change.
  13. Engage and attract social impact investors to support the change that can be realized through facilitating access to and success through education achievement for impoverished populations.
  14. Build, measure, and highlight VIU as a sustainable university through assessing and celebrating the institutional activity that aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Foster External Community Involvement

  1. Continue to actively invest in strategies to enhance partnerships with First Nations and other Indigenous communities.
  2. Invest in relationships that will support the growth of international education at VIU.
  3. Explore productive partnerships and mutually-beneficial collaborations with external organizations.
  4. Celebrate the establishment of an independent University Initiatives Trust that will generate business opportunities to support university activity and create opportunities for growth.
  5. Enhance philanthropy by continuing to engage regionally, nationally, and internationally in stewardship, relationship building, and promoting VIU as an excellent investment, with specific focus on the capital campaign supporting Phase I of the Health and Science Centre, the Trades facilities, the District Geo-Exchange Energy System project, and other institutional initiatives.
  6. Actively engage in leadership in post-secondary education activities/initiatives provincially, nationally, and internationally.  Provide leadership for PSE institutions nationally who are engaged in social change.
  7. Through the institutional Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity Plan, support an increase in the breadth, scope, and funding for scholarship and research from external community partnerships.
  8. Enhance relationships with all levels of government and, in particular, with the Provincial government in its increased public policy focus on the delivery of post-secondary educated, skilled employees for the 21st century.
  9. Continue to establish new partnership opportunities with post-secondary education institutions that may be mutually beneficial, with a particular focus on regional universities and their contributions to nation-building.
  10. Recruit, train, and retain high quality volunteers to serve on various associated boards (VIU Foundation, Milner Gardens and Woodlands, The High School at VIU, VIU Elder College, Faculty Advisory Boards, VIU Initiatives Trust, etc.).

Increase Institutional Effectiveness

  1. Support the preparation of a comprehensive budget and integrated budget-planning process that fosters an institutional culture of engagement, transparency, and accountability across VIU to build a balanced budget and support the core academic activity of the University.
  2. Through the AURORA project transition, continue to support the review of institutional models of delivery (eg. Financial models, registration, etc.).
  3. Promote engagement in and understanding of the governance and administrative structures of VIU. Implement best practices in institutional governance.
  4. Support the continued development of an efficient policy and procedure framework through Senate, the Board of Governors, and Facilities and Administrative Councils.
  5. Review the structure of responsibilities of the senior administrative team to ensure strong leadership in all functional areas (adjust and support as necessary).
  6. Identify and establish increased off-grant revenue streams to support VIU and increase income-generating initiatives. Continually explore options for growth into new opportunities
  7. Continue to build a facilitative approach to enhance institutional systems to support attracting and delivering on external scholarship, research, and contract funding as guided by the institutional Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity Plan.
  8. Support education and development for all members of the University Board of Governors and Senate.
  9. Enhance support and strategic alignment of the regional campus developments as well as other institutional assets (Deep Bay Marine Field Station, Milner Gardens and Woodlands, the VIU High School).

Personal Goals

  1. Engage in professional development activities to further personal growth.
  2. Invest in personal health and wellness activities to meet the dynamic and evolving demands of the president’s roles and responsibilities.
  3. Continue developing a regional, national, and international network of leaders to support my role as President and Vice-Chancellor at VIU.
  4. Support leadership transition as the institution focusses on recruitment of a new president.
  5. Establish plans for post-president (emeritus?) responsibility that supports new leadership in the President’s Office.