First community consultation session focuses on guiding principles
Mount Allison is encouraging students, faculty and staff to give their feedback on the new guiding principle draft statements which will lay out the framework for the university’s current strategic planning process.
The draft mission statement reads, “Students are at the center of everything we do at Mount Allison University. We prepare students to know themselves and the world through the provision of a liberal education in a dynamic, immersive and supportive environment.”
Grant said the mission statement is intended to help the Presidential Advisory Committee on the New Integrated Strategic Plan (PAC) understand Mt. A’s purpose as an institution.
Throughout the planning process, the PAC will use these guiding principles to develop the university’s new strategic plan. The first community consultation session was held in Tweedie Hall on Nov. 5.
The New Integrated Strategic Plan will focus on academic matters, research, student affairs, university advancement, facilities and infrastructure. The PAC has developed a series of guiding principles that outline a mission statement, a vision statement and six value statements.
Karen Grant, Mt. A provost and vice-president of academics and research, moderated the first consultation session. She outlined the guiding principle draft statements and asked those who were present for any feedback or revisions. “The real essence here is on what do we do and whom do we serve […] answers to those questions should guide us in all that we do,” said Grant.
A number of the session’s participants, including some students, felt students should not be “the center of everything” at the university, as stated in the mission statement. Participants felt that groups such as staff, faculty and the Sackville community were also central to what Mt. A should strive to encompass as a university. At the meeting it was concluded that the PAC would discuss a modification of the mission statement’s first sentence to expand on purpose of the university.
The session went on to discuss the draft vision statement. The draft principle states, “Mount Allison University aspires to offer students a transformative educational experience. We will become a leader in active learning in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and creative arts, and thus ensure that students acquire skills and sensibilities that will lead to success in their chosen fields.” Grant said the purpose of this statement is to be aspirational.
There was discussion about including a notion of sustainability, local involvement and an inclusion of marginalized groups into the vision statement as well. There was also confusion surrounding the ambiguity of the word “sensibilities” in the draft.
The session concluded with the review of the draft value statements. The six values are academic excellence, academic integrity, respect, connection, sustainability, and equity, diversity, and inclusion. Overall, those who were present felt that the draft was not in need of any additional value statements. The majority of feedback focused predominantly on the wording of the value statements.
There will be an additional community consultation session held at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 23 in Tweedie Hall. Grant said the PAC is welcoming feedback on the guiding principles until Nov. 30. The PAC will discuss any feedback generated from these consultation sessions. The committee aims to have concluded the entire planning process by the end of Aug. 2016.