Skip to main content

Listening Tour fall term 2022

April 1, 2023

Elizabeth Croft joined UVic in July 2022 as Vice-President Academic and Provost. To learn more about the portfolio and university, the Provost engaged in a fall term Listening Tour with leaders, faculty, librarians and staff across campus. Attendees discussed where UVic should focus efforts over the next five years with respect to the academic mission and portfolio; what’s working well and suggested areas for improvement, including what we can stop doing; and new and exciting ideas that we should explore together as an academic community, all within the context of the draft strategic plan.

Summary of discussions and examples

The Listening Tour had 37 "stops" including with Faculty Councils, the UVSS and GSS, the Faculty Association and other employee unions, student orientation events, and research events. Feedback was collected and summarized by the following topics:

  • Sustainability
  • Reconciliation, Indigenization and decolonization
  • Equity, diversity and inclusion
  • Partnerships
  • Revenue generation
  • Academic offerings
  • Technology
  • Efficiency of processes
  • Use of space
  • Research supports
  • Student supports
  • Faculty and staff supports

Illustrative examples are provided below, but this is not a comprehensive list.

We heard that we should continue to remove barriers for Indigenous students to take courses, remove EDI obstacles with admissions processes, explore trauma-informed training, and foster a more healthy and inclusive environment. Faculty members suggested more interdisciplinary collaborations, conversations and programs, and to look for opportunities to bring disciplines together.

There were several suggestions on how to collaborate across units with respect to student recruitment and retention, particularly with respect to international enrolment and graduate student funding, as well as ideas to reach lifelong learners through micro-credentials, professional programs and Continuing Studies.

With respect to technology, there are things we could do to improve efficiencies and enhance processes, both academic and non-academic. Digital learning will make for more accessible and inclusive courses but also requires a change in culture. UVic has the potential to be a leader in universal design for learning, but we need to invest in people and tools to stay relevant. Other ideas involved reconsidering the timetable, centralizing more data, and developing principles for space usage.

Next steps

The Provost expanded the listening exercise in spring 2023 with units outside of the VPAC portfolio, including the Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement and research centres.

Once the new strategic plan is approved by Senate and the Board of Governors this year, the Provost will bring together a working group to review the feedback and consult further on an academic action plan to advance the goals of the strategic and other university plans. Depending on initial consultations and the direction of the academic action plan, a second Listening Tour that includes revisiting Faculty Councils may be undertaken by the Provost and Deputy Provost in fall 2023.

A note of appreciation

Thank you to everyone who engaged in the Listening Tour, for welcoming the Provost and introducing faculty and staff who make campus a vibrant and rewarding place to teach, research, learn and work. We look forward to further engagement opportunities.