A Q&A with Paul Davenport
On February 24, Vice-President (Administration) Gitta Kulczycki and I hosted a townhall session during the third annual Staff Conference (see slides). This event was attended by well over 100 staff members who had an opportunity to pose questions to Gitta and me on a wide range of topics. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Staff Conference, and thanks also to those who shared your questions with us.
For this issue of Western Matters, I have responded, with Gitta’s help, to those questions we did not have time to address during the townhall. Please note that some of the questions submitted had similar themes and have been combined where appropriate and answered accordingly.
- What’s being done to encourage adoption of the Rae Report on higher education and what role can staff and faculty play in helping to achieve that?
- Is there any chance the Rae Report will influence federal funds transferred to the province for postsecondary education?
- Can you tell us more about the staff recognition initiative?
- Looking at the results of the Maclean’s and Globe & Mail surveys, we are number one in some areas now, but what new things can we do to stay number one?
- In the Maclean’s survey we rank low on reputation and “leaders of tomorrow.” How will we turn this around and how long will it take to turn this around?
- One of the graphs shown during Dr. Davenport’s presentation shows an increase in staff in recent years. What areas of campus have seen these staff increases?
- If we really wish to recognize staff, can we find some new language that is positive and that does not diminish staff roles (i.e., find an alternative to “non-academic support staff”)?
- How does our beautiful campus integrate strategically with the strong trend to distance studies and web-based learning?
- If undergraduate enrolment is forecasted to stabilize, how will we increase graduate student recruitment?
- How can we best impart our pride and excellence of Western to our current students (given many do not have any comparative experience at other universities) in order to improve the University’s efforts to recruit and retain the best and brightest?
- How are budget decisions made when it comes to allocating funds among the different units on campus, particularly among those that may be struggling because of budgetary constraints?
- Now that we are in the third year of the four-year plan, what are the plans for the next round of planning? What process will be followed?
- What are we doing to prepare the University for a new culture of students, faculty and staff? More specifically, what do we anticipate new faculty and staff recruits will be looking for? How are we, as a Western community, addressing these needs?
Paul Davenport, President and Vice-Chancellor
The University of Western Ontario
To share your views please reply to Paul.Davenport@uwo.ca
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