By Scott Strasser, March 20 2017 —
The University of Calgary Board of Governors approved a series of initiatives at their meeting on March 17, most notably, the U of C’s new Energizing Eyes High strategy.
Energizing Eyes High will be the U of C’s five-year strategy from 2017–22 and will officially launch on April 28.
The strategy aims to build off the university’s previous Eyes High strategy, which was in place from 2011–16. Eyes High sought to make the U of C a top-five research university in Canada and turn the campus into a “global intellectual hub.”
U of C president Elizabeth Cannon said Energizing Eyes High will give the university a strong mandate for its institutional priorities.
“It’s so important for the University of Calgary to have clarity on direction,” Cannon said. “To a large extent it does define a sense of direction that we will use to make decisions, allocate resources, invest in new programs, facilities, help bring people to the institution and help define an experience for our students.”
The university underwent a three-month consultation period for Energizing Eyes High last semester. Administration conducted polls, surveys and focus groups to gauge student feedback on the strategy. More than 4,000 students, staff and faculty participated.
The draft strategy is a 15-page document that outlines Energizing Eyes High’s three foundational commitments — sharpening focus on research and scholarship,
enriching the quality and breadth of learning and integrating the university with the broader community.
Cannon said student experience is an important focus of the new strategy.
“I fully expect that it is going to shape conversations, new initiatives and new investments, which ultimately impact all of our students,” she said. “It is not a document that’s going to sit on a shelf, not be referred to, read and not be used. If it’s actually going to have an impact on the future of the university, let’s get involved and help shape what that is going to be.”
Students’ Union president Stephan Guscott sits on the Board of Governors and voted in favour of the new strategy. He was heavily involved with the consultation
process for Energizing Eyes High and sat on the strategic oversight committee this year.
“The most rewarding part of this process for me was the amount of students who participated in the consultation [that] produced the strategy document,” he said. “[It’s been] my work and the rest of the committee’s to make sure student feedback was heard loud and clear and will be included within the three foundational commitments.”
Other initiatives approved by the board at the March 17 meeting include a $1.7-million renovation plan for Scurfield Hall, various policy updates and the U of C’s $1.3-billion consolidated budget for next year.
The board voted unanimously in favour of all projects and initiatives.