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strategic-planning

President's Listening Tour

President Kevin Hall began his role as president of the University of Victoria in November 2020. He spent months meeting with our community to listen and learn about our university.

Greetings from President Hall

In my first six months as president, it was a great privilege to meet so many remarkable people on and off campus. My staff tell I met with over 3000 people across 210 meetings. Thank you for taking the time to join me for townhalls, for small and large meetings and for stopping me to engage in conversation as I walked across campus. You spoke frankly but constructively about our university’s history, our opportunities, and our challenges, while also leaving me with a deep sense of optimism as I learned about UVic’s many strengths on which we can build and grow.

People are the fabric of a university and it was a pleasure to meet so many talented, dedicated and engaged faculty, staff and students in every area of the university. The sense of community and belonging you feel toward our university is heartening and also a huge asset. This community is determined to drive social, economic and environmental change in this region and on a global scale and in my role, I will do everything I can to support and enable your aspirations.

In our sessions, I listened intently to your many voices, ideas and opinions. Hearing from you affirmed that your values are very much aligned my own, and has energized and strengthened my own commitment to decolonize our institution in a meaningful way for local Indigenous communities and to embrace the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) to ensure we achieve self determination for our Indigenous Peoples; for action on climate and sustainability; equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism; and fair and equal access to education.

And this is just the beginning -  the tour is behind me now, but I’m still listening. I heard some strong themes emerge as we met and it’s now time to review those common themes, and begin to think about what kind of university we want UVic to be in 20 to 30 years from now.

Overall, your creative and thoughtful suggestions will make this a better place for all. If you did not get a chance to share your ideas or thoughts during my tour, please visit the President’s suggestion box at uvic.ca/suggestionbox. 

Again, I would like to express my deep appreciation to each of you for making the time to connect with me. I am truly excited for the future ahead and confident that together our community can get through anything the pandemic throws at us and build a shared vision for the future.

Kevin Hall, PhD
President & Vice-Chancellor

Tour of the Tour

3000+

people

210

Meetings

5

Townhalls

Over the course of my first 6 months, I heard from more than 3000 faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends and partners of the university through 120 internal and 90 external informal listening sessions. I also collected input and ideas through townhall polling and an online suggestion box. It was a great way of getting know UVic. I learned so much and deeply appreciated how our campus and wider community made me feel so welcomed.

  • 5 townhalls: 2 with faculty and staff; 1 with alumni; 1 with undergraduate students; and 1 with graduate students
  • Great discussions with all faculty councils and deans
  • Impactful meetings with Indigenous faculty, staff and students
  • Small group meetings with students
  • Meetings with groups of centre directors
  • Meetings with union leaders, the faculty association, advisory groups and committees
  • Conversations walking around campus
  • Grounding meetings with external community – business, political leaders, non government organizations and alumni.

Strengths

I really enjoyed hearing what’s great about UVic and its many strengths on which to build and grow:

  • Strong enrolments
  • Talented and engaged students, staff and faculty in every area of the university with lots of great ideas
  • High rates of student satisfaction
  • Well-deserved recognition of faculty and students
  • We are leaders in experiential and hands on learning with one of Canada’s best respected co-op programs
  • Strong international collaborations
  • Research intensive
  • United in our collective effort to address COVID
  • Engaged in our world’s greatest challenges
  • Much of our surrounding community values our contributions we make to their daily lives

Themes

Some strong common themes emerged from our discussions and I look forward to exploring these themes as we begin to think about what kind of university we want UVic to be in 10-20-30 years from now.

Student experience
  • Increase access into our university through pathways
  • Evaluate options for hybrid course delivery post-COVID
  • Continue to build supports for student wellness and mental health
  • Continue to build an environment that Supports learners to succeed
Research
  • Recognizing the impact of non-traditional research outputs
  • Support for graduate students
  • Opportunities for research integrated learning
  • Expand innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives
Sustainability
  • Highest standards of environmental sustainability on campus
  • Research and scholarly activities that contribute to climate action
  • Build multidisciplinary degrees in climate action and sustainability
Indigenous engagement & strategy
  • Prioritizing decolonizing and reconciliation initiatives
  • Retention of indigenous staff and faculty
  • Working more effectively with our local indigenous communities
Equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism
  • Action toward advancing EDI, including support for BIPOC people, 2SLGBTQIA+ people and increasing our campus diversity
  • Creating an inclusive environment for all
  • Eliminating racism on our campus and beyond
Community and alumni engagement
  • Deepen our community engagement with a focus on creating social, environmental and economic impact
  • Engage our region in lifelong learning
  • Strengthen partnerships in our region and across the globe
  • Increase engagement with alumni
Cross-cutting themes
  • Growing and diversifying funding
  • Build more international connections across education, research and innovation
  • Maintain a focus on recruiting and retaining talented people
  • Be innovative with our space on campus
  • Support a culture of wellness and balance
  • Improve our ranking, reputation and profile
  • Encouraging interdisciplinarity, collaboration and a focus on intersectionality
  • Establish new programs and centres of excellence
  • Streamlining and refining administrative processes

What's next?

Thank you again for taking the time to connect with me during my listening tour and for sharing your ideas for our university. I am keenly aware that we cannot just wish success into being. We will be using the information collected during the listening tour as a starting point for an inclusive strategic planning process that will ultimately position UVic for its future. Your input will help to inform our strategic planning process and spur even more creative and innovative thinking.

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