Bringing the Strategic Plan to the individual level

What does the Strategic Plan mean to you?

It's a question we have been asking over the past month in a series of meetings with all of our campus units. In recent weeks, and continuing through the end of April, we are holding meetings with all the University's Faculties, their deans, campus groups such as AUPE and APO, all asking the same sorts of questions. What does the Strategic Plan mean to you and how can we bring the Strategic Plan to life at an individual level?

These meetings give us an opportunity to look at the plan, reflect upon how far we've come with it and seek out the opportunities that exist as we move forward. This exercise will identify tactics to push the strategic directions in the plan at a broad University level, but maybe even more importantly, we are looking to bring the plan down to the individual level.

Dr. Mike Mahon
University President Dr. Mike Mahon asks what the University's Strategic Plan means to you.

I am eager to know if you relate to the plan, and if not, how we can provide the support you need to incorporate its directions into your day-to-day decision-making.

Many people I talk to, whether they are doing it consciously or not, incorporate aspects of the Strategic Plan into their workflow. As we move forward, I want to identify ways in which we support those people who have aspirations as it relates to the plan, and allow them to move forward with these ideas.

The Strategic Plan can seem like a broad document but its essence is rooted in individual acts that support its ideals. I look to the goal of enhancing the sustainability of our campus as an example. At face value this may seem like a daunting task when approached from an individual or unit level, but it is being done and a Students' Union initiative is a testament to this. In fall 2010, ULSU Food Court vendors and the Zoo established a composting program for their recyclable food materials. Since that time, Coulee Junction, Fresh Express, Mr. Sub and Tim Hortons have all joined the initiative, showing just how quickly a good idea can grow.

As you read this issue of the Legend, you will see a number of other examples that speak to the campus sustainability strategic direction. There are students working with environmental organizations, donors supporting the study of sustainability research in the Alberta Water and Environmental Science Building and initiatives encouraging commuters to bring their bikes, rather than their cars, to campus.

It's not just about the environment however, sustainability also relates to our programs and supporting our faculty and staff to help create a sustainable work environment where people feel that they are valued and supported in their goals and aspirations.

This is the Strategic Plan at its most basic level, and I hope over the next few weeks you'll take the time to meet with me and discuss how you see yourself in the strategic direction of our University so that we can take the words of our Strategic Plan off the page and put them into action.

This column first appeared in the Legend. For a look at the Legend in a flipbook format, follow this link.