Posted by Vi Hughes on Jul 09, 2019
This week we took part in a Community Engagement Consultation with two people from the University of Alberta Government and Community Relations department.  Alexis Ksiazkiewicz is the Associate VP of Government and Community relations and Emily Ball is the Director of Community Relations. This consultation is part of the University of Alberta’s institutional strategic plan entitled ‘For the Public Good’ to engage with the community.  The university wants to know how they are doing, what things are they doing poorly, what things they are doing well and suggestions for how they could do better to engage the community. As part of this plan they have struck a twenty-five member committee composed of half university members and half general public.
 
They have developed a plan to survey people from across the province to engage with people, gather and compile information. The four main questions they are asking people are:
 
  • Is the university doing a good job of creating reciprocal, mutually beneficial learning experiences, research projects, partnerships and collaborations with the community? Community being their campuses, city and region, province and nation.
  • Is the University doing a good job of engaging with the community, and if not, what is missing?
  • How can the University improve existing programs, initiatives and activities?
  • How can the university move forward on fulfilling it’s objective to engage with the community?
 
Since February they have conducted over seventy sessions all over the province.  They have met with the Rotary District and are now in the process of talking to and gathering information from many of the local Rotary clubs as well. They are asking for written answers to these questions from people in the community. They also have a website (uab.ca\cec) where people can obtain more information and add their comments.  They expect the process of gathering information to be completed by fall, when they will begin compiling their results and making recommendations. These recommendations will then be submitted to the University Executive for final decisions.
 
We were then walked through the process of a table top session where each question was asked and our members gave their opinions. We were also asked to write down our opinions on forms which were provided. We hope that our input will be useful and that some of our suggestions will help the university to change and move forward to become more engaged with our community.