VIU Campus

Summary - Identifying Interdisciplinary Themes and High Quality Programs

As part of an initiative to identify contemporary cross-disciplinary themes and a viable mix and distribution of high quality programs, five institutional sessions (3 in Nanaimo and 1 each in Cowichan and Powell River) were held. The five sessions were led jointly by Dr. Brian Dick, Chair, Planning and Priorities Committee of Senate and Dr. Dave Witty, Provost. Approximately, 100 people attended the five sessions. Through a facilitated workshop format, participants explored Academic Plan Action Item # 18 and 22. To ensure a hierarchy of discussion, participants examined Action Item #22 first ("Promote dynamic and contemporary cross-disciplinary themes"), followed by a discussion of Action Item #18 ("Maintain a viable mix and distribution of high-quality programs"). Participants were asked to identify the most important ideas (each person was given five green dots to put beside their favourite ideas [one dot per idea by each person]).

The following summarizes the results of the five sessions by listing the key findings (in bold) and other ideas that were generated but did not have the same amount of support:

Summary of All Sessions - New Program Opportunities


Identifying Interdisciplinary Themes and High Quality Programs

The Provost is responsible for VIU's Integrated Planning processes, including the monitoring and reporting on the Academic Plan. Academic Plan Action Items #18 and #22 relate to "maintaining a viable mix and distribution of high quality programs" and "promote(ing) dynamic and contemporary cross-disciplinary themes", respectively.

Following discussions with the Planning and Priorities Committee (P&P) of Senate, the Provost and the Chair of Planning and Priorities (Dr. Brian Dick) agreed to co-host a series of consultative sessions with the institution to explore Action Items #18 and #22. Five meetings were held (three at the Nanaimo campus, one at the Cowichan campus and one at the Powell River campus). Approximately 100 people participated, the majority being faculty members representing a cross-section of departments and Faculties. Approximately, 10 percent of participants were staff from Human Resources, Finance and Deans’ offices.

Participants were grouped into tables of 4-6 and were asked to address each of Action Item #22 and #18 in sequence and in that order. Each table reported back. Where tables had the same response the item was identified with a + beside its first mention. Following the reporting back, participants were given five green dots to place beside the item they felt was most important (each participant was limited to one dot per item).

The following summaries capture the outcomes of the process:

Nanaimo Meeting - March 4 2014

Nanaimo Meeting - March 19 2014

Nanaimo Meeting - March 26 2014

Cowichan Meeting - March 18 2014

Powell River Meeting -21 March 2014

Next Steps: The Chair of Planning and Priorities will take the results back to Planning and Priorities to help inform its review of new program ideas (along with other factors, such as the Academic Plan and the Summative Program Assessment). The Provost will examine the materials and prepare a summary of implications for review by Planning and Priorities and Provost Council. The latter will be posted on this site for review by the Institution.

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