Last Wednesday, the Envision TRU team got together with members of the school & community to discuss Phase two of developing a vision for our school over the next decade. The last strategic priorities were launched in 2014, and they will be coming to a close at the end of this year.
The current strategic priorities for Envision TRU were discussed at the consultation, which include increasing student success, research capacity, entrepreneurial capacity, intercultural awareness and sustainability.
Over the past few months, they’ve been collecting feedback through Thoughtexchange and group discussions in order to better understand what people are expecting and wanting to change at TRU.
Many people agreed that through TRU’s programs and services, they want to see these being used to help the community and strengthen the relationship between the school and the city. “This idea wasn’t even on the radar in 2014,” Lucille Gnanasihamany of Envision TRU explained, “it’s become quite strong and quite evident in this round of consultations.”
A new priority that was brought to light is how the school values employees. In an employee survey taken a couple of years ago, many employees, both academic, supportive and administrative said they were having trouble seeing how their day to day work and the grand mission of the university were connected.
Intercultural awareness and understanding have continued to be an important topic since 2014. With our international student population ranging to about 35 per cent and our indigenous student population being around 11 per cent, people expressed how this idea would help build bridges between cultures.
After these topics were summarized, members of the consultation were encouraged to share what they believe would improve the university. A diverse array of ideas came up, opening up lots of discussion around the meeting.
These included playing more of a leadership role in the community, advocating against issues such as fossil fuel extraction, deforestation, and gas and oil fracking. Putting more diversification in TRU’s programs, aligning the school’s sustainability goals with the UN’s, and creating different investment groups were a few more ideas brought up by members.
Before the consultation concluded, Gnanasihamany explained how the ideas and feedback from the meeting will be assessed and summarized in a report given to the president of TRU, Brett Fairbairn. The goal is to have 20 to 25 new strategic priorities for the end of this year, based on major themes that can only identify with Thompson Rivers University and aren’t general to any other institution.