Following a full-day visioning retreat, senior administrators now have greater awareness of the direction in which the university community wishes the institution to move.
Faculty, staff and representatives from the Grenfell College Student Union participated in the visioning session, held at the Pepsi Centre last Saturday.
“The retreat was a great opportunity to learn from each other, generate ideas, and get a sense of the issues people consider important as we move forward,” said Dr. Holly Pike, acting principal, Grenfell College. “This will be an annual event in order to assess our progress and see whether we need to adjust our priorities.”
The retreat consisted of three sessions: academic planning; institutional balance of teaching/research/service/development; and recruitment/retention/marketing/branding. The sessions were followed by a plenary, during which participants were given the opportunity to rank items in terms of their priority. This was accomplished through the use of ‘clicker technology,’ whereby each participant used a remote device to vote for his or her preferences.
The top priorities in the academic planning session were the attraction of new students through new programming and the importance of rebranding the institution. The institutional balance of teaching/research/service/development session saw the need for more infrastructure, and an increased focus on university spirit and morale as the top priorities. Finally, participants’ top preferences pertaining to recruitment/retention/marketing/branding were improvements to the Grenfell College website, an increase in the amount of space dedicated to students, and the marketing of the student experience at Grenfell. These are just a few examples of the dozens of items discussed during the sessions.
The clicker data, along with the in-depth notes recorded during our sessions, will help senior administration develop questions to focus further discussion in areas where there was a divergence of opinion and plans for action in areas where there is consensus.
“We’re encouraged by the fact that so many of our academic divisions and support staff, as well as students, were represented at the retreat,” said Dr. Pike. “This is evidence that a large proportion of the campus community wants to take part in the charting of Grenfell’s future.”
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