Strategic Plan Q & A: Jamie Chinn

The University of Lethbridge's 2009-2013 Strategic Plan is a plan for the future, one that will chart the general direction of the University over the next five years. It is a promise to stay true to who we are and continue doing what we do very well – fostering a personal, supportive learning community; ensuring professors are inspired scholars who integrate research and creativity with teaching; and delivering relevant programs that are meaningful and useful to our students.

Within this plan are strategic directions and priorities by which the University will shape its future. This month we look at the goal of building internal community and enhancing relationships with external communities. Jamie Chinn, senior business systems analyst in the Enterprise Solutions group of Information Technology, gives his perspective on how members of the University community can work together to help further the goals of the institution.

On how his experience on the Strategic Planning Committee was beneficial

"For me it was a chance to see the bigger picture. I think it's very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day functions of our jobs and not see how we're influencing the bigger picture.

"It was an eye-opener. You forget how big and vast the campus is and how many other units there are and the issues they face. It's a very big ship to move forward."

On how the Strategic Plan can help focus the work we do

"You learn that sometimes you are doing things for your department that may or may not be in line with the institution, so this was a very good process for me to go through to ensure that the projects we take on reflect where the University is headed."

On how he sees himself in the Strategic Plan

"I see myself mostly in the way we use technology and how we need to get this institution working together as a comprehensive unit and not as separate individual units.

"It's a realization that by doing your job well, it helps someone else do their job well and in the end, impacts the students and improves their experience."

On what part of the Plan resonated with him

"The biggest area was our commitment to students. Even though I'm someone who does not work day-to-day with students, it was important for me to get realigned with the focus of this institution and how we are student-centred in all of our activities."

On how the Strategic Plan can be taken forward throughout the University

"It's something that has to happen from the ground up, it can't succeed if it's from the top down. Each of us on the committee has our role to take what's important in the Plan to our individual groups and help carry it forward to our units and remind people where we are heading."

For more on the University's Strategic Plan, view the video on the front page of UNews.