UVic Senate meeting recap: Oct. 3

UVic’s Senate met on Oct. 3 to discuss a variety of proposals and reports from the Committee, Faculty, and Vice-President Academic and Provost.

Though many of the proposals and reports warranted only a simple update and vote to pass a motion, David Castle, vice-president  research, updated the Senate on the Strategic Research Plan, and Sarah Blackstone, Acting Associate Vice-President of Academic Planning, went into great detail about UVic’s Enhanced Planning Tools Initiative (EPTI).

Strategic Research Plan

According to David Castle, UVic will re-launch the process to develop a strategic plan for the university and confront some of the challenges as the research environment becomes more volatile due to shorter deadlines.

One of the intentions of the plan is to articulate how research contributes to the academic nature of the university, and to find ways to engage widely with the communities with which UVic collaborates.

An advisory committee has been established to begin reviewing research services and look into some of the issues surrounding the speed with which UVic’s Research Department responds to new initiatives.

Enhanced Planning Tools Initiative

The Senate received their last update on the EPTI last year in March. The initiative aims to enhance UVic’s existing planning processes with qualitative and quantitative measures by providing tools to support planning on campus, encouraging evidence-informed decision-making, engaging in transparent resource allocation, and finding new ways to align resources, money, space, time, and people with strategic priorities.

In this capacity, the EPTI has developed campus-wide criteria which stresses context, quality, demand, productivity and efficiency, financial considerations, impact and essentiality, and opportunity analysis.

During the fall semester, the Working Group and Advisory Committee will complete a draft of data sets for these criteria, begin to collect data on financial considerations, and reach an agreement on developing software to collect and store reports.

The spring semester will consist of consultation and feedback on the suggested data sets, the completion of data collection on financial considerations, a design and software test, the possible collection of qualitative data from units, and preparation for the distribution of reports on units.

The EPTI does not aim to change UVic’s current processes, and Sarah Blackstone expects the initiative to support UVic’s decisions with consistent, reliable, and sustainable data. According to her, the tools will provide a shared language and an institutional data set to support proposals at all levels.

The initiative is expected to provide information to assess the university’s progress on certain key strategic initiatives, such as internationalization, equity, and experimental learning, and align resources with those priorities in mind.

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