President's new initiatives drive UVic's Strategic Framework forward

UVic President Jamie Cassels this month unveiled a far-reaching package of initiatives that will accelerate the implementation of the university’s new Strategic Framework and drive UVic forward in line with the priorities the university community identified during the development of the framework.

“These initiatives make a strong statement about UVic’s priorities,” says Cassels, “and they emphasize our deep commitment to excellence in research and creative activity, teaching and engagement that serves students, communities and the world. They reflect our values and what makes UVic different from other universities, and reinforce our leadership position in vital areas.”

The package of initiatives comprises:

Strategic Framework chairs

Approved by Senate on January 11, this $1.2 million initiative will create four university-funded, five-year University of Victoria Impact Chairs to recruit exceptional new faculty who will lead the way in areas identified in the framework, particularly dynamic learning, respect and reconciliation, sustainable futures, and engaging locally and globally. There will also be 10 President’s Chairs—the university’s highest internal honour—to recognize current faculty who excel in research, teaching and engagement and who will help to advance all the priorities in the framework. Final approval of the program will be sought from the Board of Governors on January 29.

Strategic Framework Impact Fund

This new $300,000 per year fund will support initiatives directly related to the priorities of the Strategic Framework, especially those not covered by other funding programs. A call for proposals from academic and administrative units will be issued in the near future.

Experiential Learning Fund

A new $500,000 annual investment will enhance opportunities for students to participate in experiential learning—including practica, internships, co-op placements and field schools—with not-for-profit organizations and NGOs. Funds will be administered by a range of academic and administrative units, and support activities including wage subsidies for co-op placements and travel subsidies for students engaged in opportunities outside Victoria. Funding from this program will start to flow in 2019.

New research initiatives funding

New funding of $250,000 per year is being allocated during 2018/19 and 2019/20 by the Office of the Vice-President Research to advance research excellence and impact—used during the current year to support health science initiatives and new research clusters, enhance support to specific research platforms, and build connections and partnerships with other institutions and organizations.

Fellowships in research-enriched teaching

This $150,000 initiative will fund up to 10 awards annually. New fellowships will provide financial support and professional training for graduate students and Post-Doctoral Fellows to integrate research and teaching. The fellowships will prepare graduate students and post-docs for future teaching careers, and provide enhanced research-focused learning experiences for undergraduate students.

Graduate student support

More than $700,000 in new graduate fellowships, President’s Scholarships and Indigenous Fellowships will be awarded starting in 2019, allowing UVic to recruit and retain talented graduate students in a highly competitive market.

“Achieving our ambitious vision and goals depends upon engagement and commitment across the university,” says President Cassels. All members of our community—whether faculty, students, staff, donors or alumni—have a critical role to play in bringing the Strategic Framework to life. These new initiatives represent a bold step we’re taking together to contribute to a better future for people, places and the planet.”


In this story

Keywords: administrative, Strategic Framework

People: Jamie Cassels

Publication: The Ring

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