Campus Life

Open Mike - December 2012, Defining success at the University of Lethbridge

I am really pleased to be back on campus and feeling well again, and I thank everyone for their well wishes over the past six weeks.

During my time away and recently as I have been transitioning back into the workplace, I have been thinking about what facilitates success at the University of Lethbridge.

In recent months we have seen national organizations such as RE$EARCH Infosource award the U of L with the distinction of being Canada's Research University of the Year 2012 (Undergraduate category), achieved our highest-ever ranking in Maclean's magazine's annual university rankings and been lauded by the Globe and Mail in their annual University Rankings Report.

While recognition is nice, accolades do not facilitate the success of the University, rather it is our people. The faculty, staff and students of the University of Lethbridge are our success and they drive the institution.

M Mahon
The University's success is rooted in its people, and the ability of the institution to continually support their talents.

In recent days, I have been taking part in Strategic Planning Workshops, and as I listen to the presentations from throughout campus, I am constantly reminded that we can only achieve success as an institution if our people feel as though they are a part of the vision of the University and can see their role in pushing our strategic priorities forward.

We can achieve this by continuing to support our people in every way that we can and allowing their talents to shine.

I think of the Health Check for You program that is currently offered by the Wellness Committee, free of charge, to our campus community. After listening to a presentation on the program and its benefits, it struck me that as much as this initiative might seem small in relation to the big picture, these are the very things we have to continue to support as we cultivate an environment for our people to be successful.

I look to the recent addition of David Hill to the Office of Research and Innovation Services as another example of creating an environment for success.

By bringing David to campus, we have added an advocate who will continue to build capacity from a research centres and institutes perspective, who will help us look ahead at what are the next opportunities for our institution, and where the next successes lie that will allow us to build as a comprehensive university.

By putting the right people in the right environment and providing them with the tools they need to be successful, whether it is in terms of equipment and infrastructure or a healthy supportive workplace, we can't help but achieve success as an institution.

Going forward, our challenge is to continue that support while also identifying the next group of people who can help us move forward strategically.

Our Strategic Plan must reflect this culture of support, through small programs such as Health Check for You to larger scale initiatives such as the quest for a new science building, the further expansion of residence and the reshaping of food services. All these individual pieces must come together to form a basis of support for our faculty, staff and students.

Maureen and I wish you the very best this holiday season, and look forward to reconnecting with everyone in the New Year.

This story first appeared in the December 2012 issue of the Legend. For a look at the full issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.