The New Season of Implementing the College Plan
Together, the College’s faculty, staff, students and administration generated, and in October 2011 approved, its Third Integrated Plan (IP3). It was well received by the University Plans Review Committee, a committee designed to give feedback on all college and unit plans across the campus.
Approval by Faculty Council marked the end of one stage of the College’s IP3 process – the planning stage. And because this is our third time doing it, by and large we’ve become reasonably good at writing a plan, as has the university as a whole. But that is merely a prelude to the next, crucial stage – implementing it.
In my visits to all departments and administrative offices in the College in the spring and again in the fall of 2011, four recurring themes emerged in the discussions: various forms of support for research are needed; Aboriginal engagement is a priority; interdisciplinarity is desired but challenging; and curricular reform is now necessary. These became fundamental principles in the College’s IP3 which contains many recommendations for how to move each of them forward. The task now is to put those recommendations into action.
Based on the high levels of interest I could see for each of these areas at my meetings with departments and administrative offices, it seemed appropriate to collect it into groups of faculty and staff who could advise on how best to realize the plan’s recommendations. Those groups are the Faculty Research Advisory Committee, Aboriginal Engagement Advisory Committee, InterD Advisory Committee, and Curriculum Innovation Steering Committee.
In February I sent out a call for expressions of interest in serving on any one of them. The response was overwhelming, and not all who offered could be accommodated – if a problem, at least a good one to have.
The committees met as a collective group in early March to go over what the IP3 commits the College to doing in each area. Since then, each committee has begun a series of meetings, and their chairs continue to meet as a group with me. By June each committee will recommend how best to implement the commitments in its area, and the College can begin to act accordingly.
This is a bit of an experiment — similar to the University’s creation of Commitment Theme groups around its Second Integrated Plan. I sense from the Committees’ chairs that it’s working so far. If it continues to, I could foresee proposing the establishment of one or more of these committees in the College’s governance structure. But for the moment, I look forward to receiving and circulating the recommendations from each on how best to put the College’s IP3 into action.