U of R's 2020-2025 Strategic Plan Series Part 1: Vision, Mission and Values
Posted: July 14, 2020 6:00 a.m.
The University of Regina values Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and is committed to creating equitable systems that foster diversity and inclusion in our student community. Credit: U of R Photography
"Walking together in a good way" is a powerfully inspiring phrase that University of Regina students, faculty, and staff - along with partners in government, industry, and community - will hear frequently over the next five years, as the University works collaboratively to carry out the goals and objectives of its 2020-2025 Strategic Plan kahkiyaw kiwâhkomâkâninawak -- Cree for All Our Relations.
"The success of the University's new Strategic Plan lies in the strength of its reciprocal relationships with our communities, government, and industry partners," says Dr. Thomas Chase, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor. "Our research endeavours, provision of high-quality, accessible education for students from Saskatchewan and around the globe, and our pursuit of innovation are building a new generation of empowered citizens who have the theoretical and experiential skills required to live, work, and play well in today's world."
Based on a spirit of collaboration, consultation, and mutual support, the 13-member Strategic Plan Facilitation Team sought out Indigenous Elder Dennis Omeasoo, a Life Speaker in the Office of Indigenization at the University of Regina.
"Elder Dennis Omeasoo led the Facilitation Team in a Pipe Ceremony to start us off in a good way," explains Dr. Kerri Finlay, Chair, Strategic Plan Facilitation Team and Associate Professor, Biology in the Faculty of Science.
The Pipe Ceremony is a sacred ceremony of the First Nations people, which is conducted at the beginning of important meetings, consultations or negotiations, and is regarded as a way for participants to hold truthful, sincere, and respectful discussions.
"After hearing Elder Omeasoo speak, the Team had a much deeper appreciation for the importance and responsibility behind selecting the right name for our new Strategic Plan, particularly as the Plan will guide the U of R's decision-making and planning over the next five years, impacting our communities, as well as future generations," stresses Finlay.
In determining the name, Elder Omeasoo consulted with other First Nations groups and individuals in Treaty 4 territory, on whose land the University of Regina's main campus is located, and then presented the name of the Plan to the Facilitation Team.
kahkiyaw kiwâhkomâkâninawak -- All Our Relations is built on a First Nations' concept that honours the interconnectedness and interdependence of all living things, and stresses the impact of our actions on the world beneath our feet, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and all of the people and creatures that surround us.
This concept of interconnectedness and interdependence is woven throughout the University's vision, mission, and values, which form the foundation for the Plan's 5 Areas of Focus - including Discovery, Truth and Reconciliation, Well-being and Belonging, Environment and Climate Action, and Impact and Identity.
|The 2020-2025 Strategic Plan is an opportunity to reaffirm the University's values to its community and partners and work together to create the world in which we want to live.
Credit: U of R
"Strategic planning is important for many reasons and is not about ticking off a box," stresses Chase. "This is an opportunity for the University of Regina community to reaffirm our values of integrity, mutual respect, and honesty; to recommit to creating equitable systems that foster diversity and inclusion for our students, staff, and faculty; to enact our ongoing commitment to Reconciliation and Indigenous ways of knowing; and, to employ our areas of expertise in order to nurture our reciprocal relationships and demonstrate our commitment to our social, environmental, and economic responsibilities."
Guided by its new Strategic Plan, the University is well-positioned to support its many partners within the communities it serves - as all our relations work together in a good way to create the world in which we all want to live.
"This Plan truly embodies all of our voices and, together with our community partners, is ours - ours to own, to gather around, to wrestle with, and ours to implement," shared Roger Brandvold, Chair, U of R Board of Governors, at the virtual launch of the Plan on June 18, which was attended by close to 300 faculty, staff, and community partners. "Let's take the incredible work of the more than 1,300 participants and the Facilitation Team and breathe life into its vision, mission, and values, and 5 by 2025 Areas of Focus."
This article is the first in a six-part series on the University of Regina's 2020-2025 Strategic Plan kahkiyaw kiwâhkomâkâninawak -- All Our Relations. Next week, we'll look at Area 1 of the 5 Areas of Focus: Discovery.
For more on the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, visit https://www.uregina.ca/strategic-plan/.