Early successes in Year One
Success does not need to wait.
There are actions we can make right now that will accomplish some steps towards our strategies in the near future. These are our priorities for swift action in 2022:
Initiate creation and support enjoyment of spaces for serendipity
Enhance physical infrastructure in existing and new spaces
Spaces for serendipity are locations where unplanned encounters can take place, sparking unexpected connections that produce valuable new relationships across campus divides, deepen existing bonds, and lead to creative inspiration. These spaces are designed to promote respectful interaction and conversation between people, are wonderful places to venture with colleagues, to meet new friends and to welcome the community.
From a coffee to a conclave, a study group to a speakers’ series, all are welcome to work, to think, to socialize, or to rest, at all times. These spaces are filled with inspiring works of art, culture, and science, which elevate our thinking and our emotions. Indoors and out, large and small, in hidden nooks and spanning vast plazas, these spaces are welcoming for casual visitors yet reward lengthy stays in any weather. As much as classrooms, studios, labs and libraries, these spaces will come to define the Brandon University campus experience and be cherished by generations to come.
Ensure the ability of everyone to make use of and enjoy spaces for serendipity
To take advantage of physical spaces implies the freedom to leave one’s desk, one’s office, or one’s workspace. Serendipity also requires the mental space to be able to experience the wonder of our campus community without continual focus on the next required task. More flexible work arrangements coming out of the pandemic enable us to rethink some of our previous conceptions and create a more inclusive, equitable, and supportive campus experience for everyone.
Deepen our commitment to and connections with community
Establish President’s Anti-Racism Task Force
Dismantling systemic forms of injustice to build a truly fair and equitable world, where everyone is free to achieve their potential, is one of the great moral imperatives of our time. A representative Anti-Racism Task Force, featuring students, faculty, senior administration, and community members, will be empowered to direct concrete action, draft policy, and enact real change.
Create community consultation councils
Community engagement requires regular consultation, listening, and open conversation among a trusted group. These Councils will open lines of communication between business, industry and other community organizations, to ensure
that Brandon University expertise is sought, that Brandon University graduates are meeting community needs, and that Brandon University is aware of and able to respond swiftly to community challenges.
Investigate and lead the establishment of a Confederation of Canadian Regional Universities
Brandon University aims to be the finest regional university in Canada, but we are not the only. Regional universities may be overlooked by national media and policymakers, who focus on larger institutions, or the most prominent destination universities. Those institutions follow a different model than regional universities. By identifying and bringing together Canadian regional universities, we can more effectively share best practices, raise the profile and prestige of our model of delivering community-focused post-secondary education, and more effectively advocate for the sector and the communities we serve.
Support community engagement outside of work
Many employees, as well as students, contribute their time, energy, and expertise to the community on a volunteer basis. Many members of the BU community sit on boards, act as coaches or youth leaders, fundraise, and participate in other charitable or non-profit endeavours. These volunteer hours should be better recognized. Support and recognition of these efforts will ensure that this vital community connections continue to be strengthened.
Support and celebrate our success
Establish an annual BU Awards Gala
Brandon University is home to people who excel. Sometimes, the ways in which we excel are not appropriately recognized by groups whose focus is elsewhere. While we can — and will — also create additional supports for students, faculty, and staff, to be nominated for the awards they deserve, we will also put additional efforts into developing and sharing our own recognition. A new annual BU Awards Gala will be a prestigious event that brings together some existing awards, and adds new awards, including significant ones, to celebrate and recognize success, and to inspire our community.
Identify and support national and international award applications for faculty, staff, and students
We know that many members of the BU community deserve wide recognition and appreciation for their efforts, their successes, and their general excellence. Too few get this recognition simply because they are not nominated. There are many reasons for this, including a lack of time or resources (including money) to complete the nomination process, as well as a lack of promotion of award opportunities. We will help create this awareness by identifying deserving candidates, as well as appropriate awards, then matching the two together and supporting the full application process.