Table talk summary from Campus Conversation

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By: 
RRU Staff

Marilyn Taylor sends the following:

This is a summary of our table talk at the latest Campus Conversation; it includes contributions from the folks on Livestream as well! 

Your thoughtful conversations were recorded by a person at each table, and then were gathered and summarized by Marilyn Taylor, who led the session. The table conversations affirm that, as staff and faculty, we have important thoughts about Canada and our contribution to its future.  The specific questions are cited at the top of each section of themes. 

Marilyn’s presentation was about a larger project, Canadian Values Conversations, for which Royal Roads is a founding partner. You all invited to participate both in an interactive values survey online and to attend a Values Café at Royal Roads on June 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Centre for Dialogue to a limit of 30 of you (light lunch served). See invitation in a coming issue of Crossroads

The table conversations were a ‘starter’ for that event! But they are also extremely interesting in and of themselves because they invited commentary about who our University contributes to the Canada that we want!

Thank you to all who participated and especially to those who took notes!!

What do you appreciate most about living in Canada?

UNIQUE CANADIANISMS!  Toque, hockey, Tim’s, abundance of icons !

Social Environment:

16 CARING COMMUNITY A place to belong, community, inclusive, Sense of community, Community values, Social system, Caring, Respect, Kindness in daily interactions, civility, generous, good place to raise kids, Family support, civic volunteering values, taking care of each other; recycling, cleanliness, Social fabric of the country.

DIVERSE POPULATION:  Diversity, diverse population, some respect for diversity, some respect for indigenous, multiculturalism, multicultural society, equality of genders, International students

7 SAFETY & SECURITY Safety, relatively safe, security, Personal safety, Safe place to live, peacefulness, peaceful society

Political Environment:

11 DEMOCRACY: Democratic institutions, political freedom, Freedom to vote, True democracy compared to other countries, More open perspective in society –ability to share ideas without polarization, expect government to be accountable, less extreme politics, Politicians civility, No Trump

7 PERSONAL FREEDOMS Freedom, Freedoms, personal freedom, Balance between personal freedom and social stability, freedom to speak without repercussions

Natural Environment:

10 NATURAL BEAUTY  --mountains oceans rivers planes flora animals, Landscape environment, clean water, water, air quality, green space, Beautiful environment, beautiful country;  Access to nature, beauty of the land, big country, diverse environment-- Environment–space –lots of rural, Each province and territory unique. Natural resources, Environment (coast to coast)

Economic Environment:

4 STABLE ECONOMY, Quality of living on middle class salary, work/life balance, Less materially driven than some of our neighbours, quality of living

5 OPPORTUNITY: access to opportunities, Opportunity—work, entrepreneurship

Cultural Qualities and How We’re Seen:

4 CANADA’s REPUTATION   How we are seen by other countries—Canadians are so nice, Positive reputation in the world, Self-confidence, Positive self-image,

2 CANADIAN CHARACTER   Humbleness/ moderate, quiet patriotism, not locked in tradition, progressiveness, continuous improvement conversation

Available to All…

8 HEALTH CARE  universal, health care system,

3 EDUCATION:  Access to education K – 12

How has RRU contributed to Canada's strength and vitality? 

OUR UNIQUE EDUCATIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS! 

7 Education of future citizens; creating leader of tomorrow; reach of students and how they apply their learning to their community; alumni are change agents—impact the world; leadership making a difference in their communities; meeting market demands;

12 INCREASED Access to education—blended format, flexible admissions; gives people a second chance; online provides access across the country; for mid career learners

7 Distinctive programs – delivery speed, ‘special sauce’, all programs a weave of leadership, creativity, and innovation; education on collaboration—working in teams for workplaces across Canada; cohort model emphasizes collaboration; variety of life-changing stories; education in innovation;  commitment to positive student experience—staff and faculty highly engaged; RRU programs are interactive and allow students to apply their learning daily not only at the end of achieving their degree.

OUR POSITIVE ENGAGEMENT WITH CULTURE DIVERSITY and GLOBAL RELATIONSHIPS

7 RECOGNITION AND APPRECIATION OF DIVERSITY & INCLUSIVITY: inclusion of indigenous, strength and vision for indigenous education; have a diversity statement; respect for indigenous teachings and incorporate it in programs.

10 GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP:  international connections; welcoming international students and educating on Canadian values; bringing awareness to international as well as local, international sponsorship; cohort model transcends borders; intercultural and global learning—showcases Canada, international partners

OTHER THEMES

3 Environmental impact, sustainability, preserving campus environmental protection

2 Progressiveness, willing to have a progressive conversation;

2 Community involved; support for community (e.g. reconciliation, fund-raising)

Research applied to the community; social innovation; scholar-practitioners contribute to change

Endeavoring to live our learning

Being innovative while sticking to core values

Going forward, how do we want to model in the university the qualities we want to see in the university?

12 Walking the talk

  • IN WHAT WAYS: reconciliation and diversity. Start living our learning here more at RRU; Striving to live our brand and our core values—creative, accountable, caring; We should all be living the LTRM;  We do model our values… welcoming, supporting students  LTRM; Practicing what we preach—walking the talk;  Living our core values  --Opportunities for disadvantaged people/groups --Being nimble to serve the labour market changes -- Greater transparency -- Sustainability initiatives -- Preserving our heritage and our indigenous history;  Modeling our core values—including students, staff, faculty who take it back to their communities; Reflect on values in our own workforce; Practice what we preach-- Practice in the way we teach and model it in our interactions --Be open for change; Should represent the work environment student’s will reflect in their work places;  Acting responsibly, taking care of each other,  creativity and innovation.
  • NEEDED CHANGES in STRUCTURES and PRACTISES TO ACHIEVE WALKING OUR TALK
    • We have experts in our faculty and associate faculty (i.e. business, marketing, tourism etc.) yet there is limited or no integration for sharing that expertise in the running of the institution.
    • There is no talk between faculty and admin staff – we should try to take advantage of the expertise we have in house
    • Tear down the castle” – figuratively
      • Move out administration/executive and move in students and teaching there
      • If the perception is that the castle equals power/authority, move it to where the mandate for the institution lives – learning and teaching.
  • Talk about our decision-making process (why we make choices the way we do: long term/short term, various stakeholder, goals, priorities
  • 7 Strengthen the social fabric:   Respectful interconnectivity and relationships; Working together like the cohort model—shared respect; Enhance caring—support individual needs more; More gathering places; Be the family we seek; Recognizing people for contributions/experience (not just a number) Practice effective ‘dialogue’ – academic sense; Deepening the quality of conversations. Openness.

7 Strengthen the social fabric:  

Respectful interconnectivity and relationships; Working together like the cohort model—shared respect; Enhance caring—support individual needs more; More gathering places; Be the family we seek; Recognizing people for contributions/experience (not just a number) Practice effective ‘dialogue’ – academic sense; Deepening the quality of conversations. Openness

7 DIVERSITY & INCLUSIVITY

Continue to strengthen and operationalize the diversity statement across RRU; When we talk about the students and programs at Royal Roads, use inclusive language for the undergraduate on-campus students here (STHM for example has most of its students on-campus, full time, but the language the university uses does not acknowledge them). By being what we want to see in others—inclusivity; Scholarships to increase access –inclusivity; Indigenous faculty; embracing diversity for more than what meets the eye; More outreach to underprivileged—(scholarships?) –countries/people – more accessible; Supporting integration of first generation immigrants to society and workforce recognizing their previous education/experience; Exceptional representation of women

7  ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

LTRM is going in a good direction; Talk more about opportunities for self-reflection understanding gaps/limitations; Disrupt neoliberal knowledge paradigms; How about opportunities to include alternate knowledges? Languages; Applied research –help make/lead change; developing literacy; when considering new programs and practices need to have flow from those values… this is not happening

Accessible Education:  If we want to be more accessible, what are we doing to reduce the cost of education here? How can we change/improve that?l

6 Strengthen Connection to wider Community(ies):  Strengthening communities; Stay active and participating in the community (volunteer leadership); Participating in meaningful reconciliation; Openness to controversial dialogue accepted, promoted, respected; open to people;

2 Environment   Environmental friendly, carbon neutral; Embracing and actioning our environmental stewardship

Innovation:  Innovation need to renew and do much more—IT, website, mobile, internet reliability;

Campus Physical Upgrades:  Visually from the main gate entrance, the perception is we are not open and accessible:

  • Can we make more effort to update/beautify the buildings there?
  • Make our “curbside appeal” more attractive – make it look more like it’s worth the student’s investment in a place that invests in itself?
  • Can we change the name of the “gatehouse” to something like the “welcome house”?

THEMES GENERATED APRIL 30, 2018   Campus Conversation   Summarized by Marilyn Taylor