Ryerson students are invited to take part in an Academic Plan Town Hall today at 5 p.m. on campus with Provost and Vice President Academic Dr. Mohamed Lachemi. It will focus on the draft academic plan framework that resulted from the fall 2013 community consultation sessions. Students are encouraged to share their thoughts on the proposed vision, values, priorities and strategies. The Ryersonian's Hailey Chan @haileyreports will be live blogging from today's students-only session.
"The academic plan represents the strategic blueprint for moving forward in the next five years," says Dr. Mohamed Lachemi, provost & VP of Academics.
"We want to dream big, but we also want to be realistic about the plan that is in place," Lachemi says.
A slide talks about what the new plan for 2014-2019 will focus on: new programs & curriculum, new experimental learning opportunities, technology in the classroom, and the student experience.
Consultations for the proposed plan began in Fall 2013. So far, they have developed a framework for the academic plan.
"Each faculty and each department will have their own strategic plan...expected Spring 2014," Lachemi says.
Lachemi introduces 14 new core values. Among which include: equity, diversity, inclusion and respect for Aboriginal perspectives.
Lachemi asking for ideas on how students would like to view Ryerson in the next five years. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The plan is not the provost's plan I am the provost, but I'd like the plan to represent the whole community," he says.
CORRECTION: Mohamed Lachemi is the provost, not the VP of academics.
Chris Evans, VP of academic now up. Explaining what "collegiality" means in the proposed core values, "People working together to try to and achieve their goals."
Access is another one. (Referring to physical access, access to courses, financial access, pathways for non-traditional students to access university education.)
Core values were not formally articulated, prior to this plan.
A question about accessibility: There are only three rooms in the library that are accessible, she says. "We need money to make this happen. How equitable is this going to be? How will the board of governors abide by this?"
Lachemi says the new Student Learning Centre will be for fully accessible for student use and has 154,000 sq. ft. of space.
None of the core values respond to the emphasis on the technological learning experience (RAMSS, recording lectures, etc.), says a student.
Evans says that falls under innovation.
RSU's VP of Education, Roshelle Lawrence, asks Lachemi to define "comprehensive innovation."
Lachemi says it's about collaborating with communities and engaging with the community in a way that is "outside of the box."
"I think the point of the academic plan is to think about how [access] communicates across campus, and not just the SLC," a member of the RSU says. She's concerned it's pretty on paper, but that it won't be implemented.
Question about academic excellence: "We have tools in place now and expand them to encourage faculty members to be the best educators they can be.."
Evans says they've launched relevant programming: There are seven or eight new undergraduate programs to allow students to serve society through their careers.
Lachemi says the best was to enhance the quality of education is through the dialogue and feedback between students and professors.
"Lack of mention of mental health was a bit concerning for me," says one student.
A focus group his group conducted showed that students have concerns about the access centre. "It's only for students who have been diagnosed. Creates roadblocks around policies such as late assignments."
"It excludes undiagnosed students," 2nd year social work student.
"We need more mental health initiatives and less money spent on road art," he reads from a focus group from Equity Services Centre.
Lachemi's respone: "Your point is valid and I support that." He points to a growing demand for student services re:mental health noted on p.11 of the framework.
"When I see the website, I see when we win sports games, when we a technology thing in DMZ. When do I get to see accessibility? It's part of innovation," a student says.
"Thank you so much for your ideas, please continue to be engaged with us. This is really a plan for all of us and for future students," Lachemi says in closing.