VIU Scenery

Planning and Engagement

The Planning Process

Over 2020, VIU undertook a wide-ranging strategic planning process called The Future We Want to See, building on the vision of VIU's President, Deb Saucier. Have a look at this interview with Deb, describing her ambition for the plan:

The Engagement Process

The first part of the engagement sought to build a vision for VIU's future. Conversations with some 1,000 people in the spring and summer of 2020 focused on five "conversation starter" topics, drawn from the President's installation address in November 2019: broadening access, encouraging discovery, engaging community, and boosting student success, all with a cross-cutting theme of deepening reconciliation. Through in-person and online workshops, surveys, meetings, emails, and phone calls, VIU employees, learners, and community members shared their stories about VIU's strengths and their goals for the university's next five years.

A report on What We Heard during those spring and summer conversations is available as an executive summary and full report.

The second part of the engagement, held in the fall of 2020, invited VIU's communities to read and discuss the first draft of the plan, titled A Different Kind of University: Vancouver Island University's Draft 2021-2026 Strategic Plan. More than 2,000 people had a look at the plan and we are pleased  there was such widespread support for many of the plan's ideas. Please see the Public Engagement Report for details of those voting results.

Over the course of the winter and spring of 2021, the plan was revised to be shorter and clearer (following feedback from the consultations) but it retained the central ambitions of the first draft. The draft plan, now titled People, Place, Potential (again, reflecting consultation feedback), was reviewed by the Planning and Priorities committee of Senate on 8 February, went to full Senate on 4 March with minor changes, and was approved by the Board of Governors on 8 April, all 2021. 

The Engagement Approach

Both parts of the engagement plan build on appreciative inquiry and design thinking approaches to reach out to VIU's many communities. Have a look at this video to learn more about the process:

This podcast, by Alison Van Rooy, VIU’s Senior Advisor for Strategic Planning and Institutional Initiatives, reflects on the challenges (and benefits!) of strategic planning in a pandemic.