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People

UVic people

Exceptional people – students, faculty, staff and supporters – have made the University of Victoria what it is today, and are the foundation that creates and sustains the quality of our programs in teaching and research. Our goal is to recruit and retain a diverse group of exceptionally talented students, faculty and staff and to support them in ways that allow them to reach their highest potential.

In the coming decade, the University of Victoria will attract a more culturally and geographically diverse student body from across the province, across the country and around the world. This will affect the university significantly by enriching the social and cultural diversity of our community.

Objective 1: To be a diverse, welcoming learning community, with a demonstrated commitment to equity and fairness.

Key strategies:

  1. identify, address, communicate and report on equity, diversity and fairness issues across the university, including the recruitment, retention and experience of students, faculty and staff.
  2. continue the assessment of fairness and equity in regular academic and service unit planning, external reviews, accountability and professional development frameworks and the cyclical review of university policies.
  3. actively promote and communicate coordinated practices of inclusion, respect, wellness, accessibility, safety and accommodation as the foundations of a healthy university community.

Students

Due to the changing demographics of our province and country, we expect that undergraduate and graduate student recruitment and retention will become increasingly competitive and that our students will continue to come from more diverse backgrounds and regions. Across most regions in Canada, including the province of British Columbia, we are witnessing a steady decline in the number of high school students, although for select populations  —  for example, Indigenous communities and new Canadians  —  the reverse is true. This represents challenges as well as opportunities for student recruitment.

Becoming the university of choice for future students requires us to increase our attention to student recruitment, financial support, accessibility, student services and the residential and cultural nature of the UVic experience. We will foster a sense of community on campus, further enhance the personally engaging and stimulating learning environment we are known for and build the social and cultural infrastructure on campus, boosting the sense of life, inclusion and vitality. We will strengthen the sense of connectedness of distance students, while increasing the number of students living on campus. By expanding our residence system we will support student recruitment and facilitate co-op and international student exchanges. We will strive to ensure that every student experiences and contributes to a socially and intellectually engaged and connected campus.

Objective 2: To actively recruit and retain outstanding students from diverse regions and backgrounds and remove barriers to admission and retention other than academic and creative potential.

Key strategies:

  1. continue to develop an effective, data-driven student recruitment and retention program that attracts and retains a diverse group of high-quality students nationally and internationally, removing barriers and expanding opportunities for traditionally underrepresented groups.
  2. focus our fundraising initiatives and our provincial advocacy in order to increase student financial assistance, with the objective of remaining in the top 20 per cent of Canadian universities.
  3. further develop education and support mechanisms for students living in rural and remote communities and those engaged in full- or part-time work who wish to enter a program of study at UVic.
  4. develop a plan for residential graduate and undergraduate student housing that maintains our first-year residence guarantee, gives priority to returning co-op, study-abroad and international students and contemplates a doubling of our current on-campus capacity.

Objective 3: To continue to increase the number of Indigenous students graduating from all faculties at UVic, building on our commitment to and our unique relationship with the First Peoples of Canada.

Key strategies:

  1. utilize First Peoples House as a focal point for Indigenous student support programs and intercultural understanding
  2. building on the success of LE,NONET and other initiatives, coordinate, develop and enhance programs of recruitment, retention, education and services for Indigenous students in all faculties.
  3. strengthen our relationships with First Nations communities and increase the recruitment and retention of Indigenous students.
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Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows

The university has realized significant growth in graduate student enrolment and programming over the last five years. In the coming years, graduate enrolments should continue to increase relative to undergraduate enrolments. As resources allow, targeted growth in research-based PhD programs and professional and course-based Master’s programs should receive priority. This increased emphasis on graduate education should further enhance an increase both in research activity and in the quality of the undergraduate learning experience. In addition to playing a major role in the university’s research accomplishments, graduate students, through their role as teaching assistants, tutors and research mentors, provide a key link between research and undergraduate education. To capitalize on these linkages we will further develop programs that provide graduate students the necessary skills in both teaching and research as well as general professional development.

Post-doctoral fellows also play a crucial role in supporting a research-intensive culture. They add value to the training of graduate students and to the research programs and profile of the university. Besides conducting their own research, post-docs are frequently given opportunities to teach and supervise students, thus helping them to develop their full potential. We will work to recruit and support high-quality post-docs through effectively accessing external support programs.

Objective 4: To be nationally and internationally competitive in the recruitment and retention of graduate students of the highest calibre.

Key strategies:

  1. as a key priority, secure government funding for additional funded graduate spaces and the development of a comprehensive provincial government graduate fellowship program.
  2. use fundraising, external funding opportunities and base resources to provide competitive graduate student scholarships, bursaries, and teaching assistant and research assistant positions.
  3. provide training opportunities in both teaching and research, as well as in professional development, across the disciplines.
  4. provide access to academic and student support services for the substantial number of graduate students who are undertaking programs within blended, distributed or distance delivery formats.
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Objective 5: To be nationally and internationally competitive in the recruitment of post-doctoral fellows of the highest calibre.

Key strategies:

  1. promote external funding opportunities, fundraising opportunities and support mechanisms to recruit high-quality post-doctoral fellows.
  2. through Research Services, provide support for post-doctoral fellows and their faculty supervisors in the areas of mentorship and professional development.

Faculty

The quality of our endeavours is determined by the quality of our faculty and their scholarship in teaching, research, and creative and professional activity. Our success is also dependent on our faculty’s commitment to research-inspired teaching and learning. Retaining our exceptional faculty and recruiting others requires the university to maintain its high academic standards and to provide an environment that supports the achievement of our colleagues’ academic ambitions. This past decade UVic has witnessed renewal and growth in the ranks of its professoriate, with over 50 per cent of its full-time faculty hired during this period. In a resource-constrained environment, we will need to focus our growth in those areas where we choose to develop a nationally and internationally recognized critical mass of excellence.

Sessional instructors perform an essential role and their commitment to quality is central to our success. Adjunct faculty — often talented individuals from other institutions — also provide an important opportunity to build the quality of our research and teaching programs.

Objective 6: To recruit and retain a diverse group of faculty of the highest national and international quality.

Key strategies:

  1. focus new resources and faculty renewal on established or emerging areas of research and educational excellence, recognizing the unique requirements of different disciplines.
  2. provide competitive offers of employment with the goal of attracting a strong pool of high-quality applicants and hiring 90 per cent of our first-choice applicants.
  3. continue the training available for search committees to ensure the recruitment of a diverse group of outstanding faculty.
  4. continue to support faculty recruitment, including through the expanded Scholars’ Fund to help cover new faculty start-up costs, relocation and housing assistance programs for new faculty and librarians and support for spousal employment opportunities.
  5. implement programs that encourage the success of new and continuing faculty and that ensure that faculty retention place us in the top 20 per cent of Canadian universities, e.g. quality of work life, compensation and benefits, childcare, etc.
  6. expand orientation, mentorship, and professional development opportunities.
  7. broaden the scope of our in-house training programs for new and existing chairs, directors and deans.
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Objective 7: To recruit outstanding sessional instructors and adjuncts and recognize the integral role they play in supporting a high-quality learning environment.

Key strategies:

  1. provide ongoing career opportunities for sessional instructors and continue the opportunities for recognition.
  2. enhance the new sessional instructor orientation program and provide opportunities for professional development.
  3. develop and implement processes that enable effective communication with sessional instructors and adjuncts.

Staff

The university’s staff play a vital role in enabling the university to fulfill its mission. In many cases they are the first point of contact with our students and our community. Through the support and services they provide to our students and faculty, and by maintaining a high-quality physical environment, they make it possible to accomplish our goals. It is critical that we continue to develop programs that will allow us to recruit and retain a diverse group of outstanding staff. We will explore new opportunities to ensure all staff members are knowledgeable and engaged in the university and able to advance their professional aspirations.

Objective 8: To recruit and retain a diverse group of outstanding staff by providing rewarding and fulfilling careers at the University of Victoria.

Key strategies:

  1. develop ongoing training so that staff have the knowledge and support to navigate the university and effectively complete their responsibilities.
  2. expand programs for professional and personal development and mentoring opportunities for staff, enhance collaboration within the campus community that builds on the strengths of our staff, and enhance succession planning and management and leadership development.
  3. enhance our recruitment processes and tools and have training and support available for search committees to ensure the recruitment of a diverse group of outstanding staff.

Retirees

In recent years, the number of UVic retirees has greatly increased. These individuals have helped build the excellent university we are today. They have a wealth of knowledge and abilities, and many wish to remain engaged with the university both on campus and in the community.

Objective 9: To engage the University of Victoria Retirees Association and UVic retirees who are willing and able to make significant contributions in research, teaching and other important aspects of the life of the university and the community.

Key strategies:

  1. engage retirees in programs and activities that meet the mandate of the university and incorporate their knowledge, skills and abilities in research, teaching, student recruitment and mentoring, learning, university development and university service.
  2. develop a program or programs that engage(s) older adults to promote the value of being mentally and physically active in retirement and to engage retirees in program delivery and outreach.
  3. provide support to retirees and the Retirees Association in their efforts to contribute to the mission of the university, where there is capacity within existing UVic resources.

Alumni

Our graduates express a high degree of satisfaction with the quality of their University of Victoria experience. UVic’s over 100,000 alumni around the world are our most valuable ambassadors and play a key role in promoting the university’s reputation and quality. We must engage them effectively in the life and work of our university, which in turn will improve our educational and research environments, and our ability to attract and retain the best students.

Objective 10: To develop a fully integrated alumni relations program that results in the engagement, involvement and support of UVic alumni.

Key strategies:

  1. create integrated alumni and development programs that provide additional opportunities for alumni to be involved and recognized in the life of the university (e.g. in student recruitment and retention and as speakers, mentors, employers, donors).
  2. expand alumni activities, in collaboration with the Alumni Association and academic units, further develop our technological support to engage alumni around the world and significantly increase the number of active branches and chapters.
  3. enhance the value of UVic in the lives of alumni through continuing education opportunities, interaction with UVic faculty and increased networking opportunities.
  4. support our graduating students in their transition to becoming alumni.
  5. plan and implement an ongoing campus-wide alumni reunion weekend program to be initiated in our 50th anniversary year.

Celebration of success

In order to achieve greater success, we must celebrate the success of members of our community.

Objective 11: To develop methods to recognize the accomplishments of members of the university community.

Key strategies:

  1. establish and maintain awards for student, faculty and staff recognition for contributions to enhancing the quality of the University of Victoria in teaching, research and service.
  2. provide the support required to increase the number and success rate of UVic nominees in external award competitions.
  3. build a culture of meaningful formal and informal opportunities that recognize and support individual and team contributions.
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