Draft strategies for future action

Through extensive campus and community consultation, we have heard excitement about proposed strategies that would increase the vibrancy, engagement and success of our students, our faculty and staff, and our community. While many of these proposed strategies would have valuable effects in more than one area, they are ordered here where they would make the most immediate impact.

Along with each strategy, consultation identified many potential approaches. These approaches need data and detail to become actions, and a champion who can guide them into reality. Through our Plan Implementation, we will throughly assess these proposals, further develop the potential approaches into concrete steps, and take agile, courageous and inclusive action to make them a reality.

Student Vibrancy

More students on campus more often helps create a more active and welcoming campus for everyone.

Increase student body population at all levels

Potential approaches:

  • Increase support for recruitment of traditional high-school students
  • Increase outreach to underserved populations
  • Increase transition programming
  • Introduce Strategic Enrolment Management system at BU, including recruitment of domestic students
  • Create a full time Dean of Graduate Studies to build a robust cohort of graduate students across the disciplines

Increase student presence on campus after hours

Potential approaches:

  • Expand Student Leader programming with additional social opportunities
  • Add staff with responsibilities for student engagement
  • Revisit existing campus space to create spots for students to work/study together
  • Use the Campus Master Plan to think of new spaces that would be inviting for students during and after regular hours
  • Provide more support for campus clubs
  • Develop Masters programs in Inter-disciplinary programs to increase graduate student presence on campus
  • Pre- Bobcat game activities to encourage student attendance
  • Increased all-community activities on campus that will also encourage student attendance

Increase graduation and retention rates

Potential approaches:

  • Increase attention to early at-risk students with opportunities to quick access to academic advising
  • Increased support for academic advising
  • Increase financial support available for students via scholarships and bursaries
  • Increase program offerings that will assist with retention programs to be explored:
    • Pre-law major using existing courses across faculties
    • Explore the possibility of an Institute for Humanities Research
    • Increase cross/interdisciplinary programming
    • Your degree Built in Brandon
  • Implement a prediction of risk level of students and provide targeted Advising and targeted course development, and other support
  • Provide greater summer learning opportunities, both on campus and virtually to decrease time to graduation
  • Establish peer to peer mentoring opportunities in each faculty/program

Student Engagement

Students who are better able to focus on their studies develop lasting and meaningful relationships, and connect with the community.

Enhance learning opportunities outside the classroom

Potential approaches:

  • Encourage study terms abroad for our students, perhaps including financial support
  • Partner with Canadian universities in other provinces to encourage inter-provincial study terms without losing time to graduation
  • Deepen joint program offerings with Assiniboine Community College
  • Increase research opportunities for students (this strategy pairs well with the increase research success within the Faculty/Staff braid)
  • Make Co-op program accessible to non-traditional students (e.g.: part-time students)
  • Increase NSSE High-Impact Practices, which are opportunities with a positive influence on the student’s life. This includes: Service-Learning, Research with Faculty, Internship/Field experience, Study Abroad, and Culminating Senior Experience.

Improve student wellness and community

Potential approaches:

  • Establish a President’s Task Force on anti-racism with student participation
  • Explore the possibility of becoming signatories to the Okanagan Charter
  • Implement the recommendations of the Indigenous Education Senate Sub-Committee
  • Increase support of student social activities, including academic and non-academic clubs
  • Physical: Nutrition, sleep, exercise
  • Increase usage of HLC by providing introductory tour or free guided intro workout session to show to use the facilities
  • Promote/organize mid-day activity breaks
  • Intellectual: creativity, engaging, reading, hobbies
  • Sponsor creative events throughout the year not just during Orientation
  • Paint night, faculty/staff recommendation for book of the month
  • Spiritual: Higher purpose and meaning, meditation, religion
  • Designate and promote additional spiritual/religious space
  • Emotional: positive self-view, autonomy, feel in control
  • Increase student counselling supports, especially on a proactive basis
  • Social: Connecting, engaging meaningful way
  • Financial: skills, budgets, planning
  • Support/promote/organize non-academic skills in collaboration with BUSU

Student Success

Fostering, recognizing, and celebrating the success of our students helps create an environment where everyone takes pride in excellence and strives to achieve it.

Increase career trajectory

Potential approaches:

  • Provide a Work Integrated Learning opportunity to every student who wishes one.
  • Enhance mentorship opportunities, both during student journey and as alumni
  • Develop ‘BU network’ to connect alumni employers with eager BU grads
  • Improve and increase involvement of alumni

Increase profile of our students

Potential approaches:

  • Formalize mentoring for President’s Honour Society to prepare students for national and international awards and opportunities
  • Track success rates of graduates attending graduate and professional schools
  • Increase internal and community recognition for exceptional students
  • Publicize national and provincial award winners – encourage and support applications

Faculty & Staff Vibrancy

Healthy, happy, and enthusiastic faculty and staff help each other, and our students, succeed.

Increase diversity of faculty and staff

Potential approaches:

  • Implement and improve policies to achieve principles of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Implement the recommendations of the Indigenous Education Senate Sub-committee
  • Through consultation with Indigenous leaders and knowledge keepers create an Indigenous Advisory Council to the President
  • Successfully recruit Senior Indigenous Leader to report to the President

Support a healthy working community on campus

Potential approaches:

  • Ensure wellness includes mental wellness
  • Create a President’s task force on anti-racism that includes faculty and staff
  • Examine use of existing space to improve opportunities for cross faculty/staff discussion
  • Support staff to attend events (e.g.: talks) during work hours without losing their breaks or lunch time.
  • Re-examine present organizational structure to centralize wellness opportunities
  • Continue to expand professional development opportunities for all faculty and staff

Faculty & Staff Engagement

Interesting and challenging work, done in a safe and up-to-date environment, improves wellbeing and productivity.

Encourage non-faculty professional development

Potential approaches:

  • Increase on-campus opportunities for training and development
  • Enhance supports and resources (including making time available) for professional development

Improve workplace and facility infrastructure

Potential approaches:

  • Prioritize ‘Serendipitous Space’ that is well used and multi-purpose
  • Renovate or replace aging campus facilities, especially the Brodie Building
  • Target fundraising at physical infrastructure
  • Pursue research funding opportunities that enhance facilities
  • Pursue conferences and events that leave an infrastructure legacy

Faculty & Staff Success

Fostering, recognizing, and celebrating the success of our faculty and staff helps create an environment where everyone takes pride in excellence and strives to achieve it.

Increase research success

Potential approaches:

  • Create and fill position of Vice-President Research
  • Encourage greater participation and applications for tri-council research funding
  • Encourage and support faculty and staff to be recognized nationally and internationally through award nominations
  • Enhance supports for attending and presenting at conferences
  • Improve ability for Brandon University to host conferences and symposia
  • Increase research and grant application support to Faculty

Celebrate our own success internally and locally

Potential approaches:

  • Implement employee recognition program
  • Increase support for communicating employee success
  • Inaugurate an annual BU Awards Gala

Community Vibrancy

Brandon University can be a focal point in the community, and a hub for intellectual, physical, and cultural activity.

Expand our offerings to the community

Potential approaches:

  • Establish additional life-long learning opportunities both on campus and remotely to serve our community
  • Develop School of Continuing Studies to attract life long learners
  • Increase partnerships with local industry, social service agencies and community groups
  • Through consultation with local Indigenous leaders establish an Indigenous Advisory Council that advises the President
  • Explore opportunities for shared residence space for Indigenous high school students, including the use of BU Indigenous students as Residence Life Advisors
  • Working with Indigenous Leaders design and offer Mini U programs for Indigenous youth, taught by Indigenous BU students

Bring new events and resources to the community

Potential approaches:

  • Pursue hosting opportunities for major events, especially at off-peak times (ie Summer Games)
  • Support and expand existing offerings, including at HLC, School of Music, Sutherland Gallery
  • Expand public access to facilities like Harvest Hall, Evans Theatre, Innovation Zone 3D printing lab, Observatory
  • Expand public welcome and learning space in a new or renovated Science Building

Community Engagement

Brandon University can contribute back to our community by engaging more both on- and off-campus

Enhance town/gown connectivity

Potential approaches:

  • Create and fill an AVP Community position
  • Create a unified “front door” both online and in physical space for interested community members
  • Design and redesign spaces on campus that invite formal and informal use for the community, including serendipitous spaces
  • Improve public booking process of campus spaces
  • Improve winter use of campus spaces, especially outdoors
  • Enhance year-round campus activations, with more activities (academic and other) at off-peak times
  • Support staff/faculty volunteering and participation in community groups, organizations and events

Ensure Brandon University responds to community needs

Potential approaches:

  • Update and publicize our Economic Impact Report
  • Create a Cultural and Artistic Impact Report to catalogue, publicize and enhance our role as a cultural driver for Western Manitoba
  • Establish Advisory Councils for each faculty and in some cases programs
  • Grow President’s Community Advisory Council

Community Success

Brandon University does best when all of our communities also prosper around us.

Lend our expertise and resources to meet community needs

Potential approaches:

  • Increase participation in community boards and groups like BUAPC and Brandon First, among others
  • Develop an ‘Experts List’ for media, public, and other organizations to consult as resources
  • Set examples through on-campus innovation that can be copied elsewhere in the community

Share our story as well as the community’s story (raising our profile and the region’s profile, while increasing the prestige of both)

Potential approaches:

  • Invest in major marketing campaigns that trumpet our success
  • Encourage and train faculty and staff to contribute their expertise in public fashion
  • Increase resources available for promotions and brand awareness