The next five years might look a little different for TRU

TRU’s Strategic Priorities Advisory Committee will help determine the university’s future

Justine Cleghorn, Contributor Ω

Thompson Rivers University is embarking on the creation of a new strategic priorities advisory committee to guide the university’s priorities for the next five years.

President and vice-chancellor of Thompson Rivers University, Alan Shaver, is co-chairing the strategic priorities advisory committee. The initiative will determine the university's top priorities. Justine Cleghorn/The Omega

President and vice-chancellor of Thompson Rivers University, Alan Shaver, is co-chairing the strategic priorities advisory committee. The initiative will determine the university’s top priorities. Justine Cleghorn/The Omega

“It’s time to do a review and to develop what our new priorities will be,” said Alan Shaver, president and vice-chancellor of TRU.

The goal is for the new strategic priorities to reflect, and even anticipate, the needs of the university, according to Shaver. The process will include assessing TRU’s previous strategic priorities set out in 2007, making sure the relevant priorities for the university are kept and that irrelevant ones are omitted.

First Nations education and sustainability are two of the priorities set in the 2007 plan, and two that are likely to transition over into the new plan.

“Clearly I have my own thinking about what is likely to come out of it, but I’m also open and sort of excited about the possibility of being surprised and having things come out of this that are really creative and innovative.”

Social media will be used to help determine what TRU values.

“We want to survey students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders about the state of our priorities, the value that each respondent puts on them, and then the hard part, which is what are your top priorities,” Shaver said.

He anticipates that TRUSU will be active in the nomination process.

“I’ve told Dylan [Robinson, TRUSU president] that I’m fully expecting that many of the nominees will be members of the student forum,” he said.

TRUSU is letting students know about the committee and encouraging nominations, but the organization wasn’t approached to do so according to Robinson.

“We weren’t informed beforehand or anything so we were a little bit surprised,” he said.

Robinson has nominated himself to be part of the committee.

“This is kind of a process to guide the university over the next couple of years and provide the frameworks of what the priorities, the strategic priorities, of TRU are,” Robinson said. “I think definitely that’s a very important exercise to be a part of, especially as a student.

“Presumably the university is here to service us, so it makes sense they would consult us about we think the direction of TRU should be.”

It is estimated that the committee will include 10 faculty members, 10 students, four administrators, one alumni member, one dean and three community members.

Shavers’ plan is to meet throughout the fall semester, and in January of 2014 start exploring the operational side of how the university will put the priorities into action.

The committee members will be announced to the community on Oct. 24.