Strategic Plan Q & A: Jennifer Gruninger

The University of Lethbridge's new 2009-2013 Strategic Plan sets a course for the University over the next five years. We asked various members of the University community their impressions of the Strategic Plan and how they fit personally in the vision of the plan.

Jennifer Gruninger
Coordinator, Graduate Student Recruitment and Communications for the School of Graduate Studies

1. What does this plan mean to you?

The Strategic Plan put forward by the University of Lethbridge represents a clear direction for our future by outlining our institutional objectives and goals for the next five years. The Strategic Plan highlights our strengths, addresses our weaknesses and provides realistic actions and solutions to engage the University community in ensuring we meet our goals.

Jennifer Gruninger, the coordinator for graduate student recruitment and communications for the School of Graduate Studies, discusses the 2009-2013 Strategic Plan.

2. How do you see yourself in the plan?

As the Coordinator of Graduate Student Recruitment and Communications for the School of Graduate Studies, I see myself as an active participant in our dedication to building a comprehensive university. The strategic plan offers a focus in graduate studies and a commitment to fully engage graduate education. These objectives require an active and innovative approach to graduate student recruitment, promotion of our current graduate studies and the development of new programs, as well as formulating a close relationship with the Graduate Student Association to create and grow a culture of graduate education.

3. What does it mean to be a comprehensive university?

A comprehensive university emphasizes the importance of education, both undergraduate and graduate. The University of Lethbridge not only establishes an excellence in undergraduate education by offering outstanding programming, quality education and innovation, but also establishes a commitment to graduate education through the engagement in learning and research, dedication to diversity and global awareness, and by providing a collegial environment for scholarship and creative work.

A comprehensive university establishes an interactive learning environment between undergraduate and graduate students, encourages equal participation in research and creative thought, and leads to their personal and professional development through the use of an educational model based on support and mentorship.

4. The plan outlines five strategic directions. What area of the plan are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about the support and emphasis placed on growth in graduate studies. As a recent graduate from the University of Lethbridge, it is very exciting to be a part of the creation and growth of new graduate programs and graduate student culture.

5. Fast-forward five years, how would you describe the U of L of 2013?

By the year 2013, I envision the University of Lethbridge as an established comprehensive institution planning for the future. The University of Lethbridge will continue to play an active role in the community, pursue innovative research goals, make new discoveries, achieve global recognition, and promote diversity in all aspects of the University community.

I also envision significant growth in the graduate student population and growth in the graduate programs offered, including an increase in the areas of study, adaptation of technological advances to enhance the delivery of instruction, the implementation of part-time programs, the growth of PhD programs in the humanities and social sciences, and the successful establishment of a supportive and dynamic graduate student culture.