The Open Governance Initiative was kicked off on Sept. 15 when students, faculty and staff attended a Town Hall meeting in the Grand Hall. Christine Bovis-Cnossen, Matt Milovick, Christopher Seguin and I were pleased to engage in an open dialogue with the attendees for 90 minutes. The meeting drew a variety of questions from 153 people present, as well as approximately 100 people who tuned in to the livestream, including a group from the Williams Lake campus.
This was the first of two Town Halls planned for the TRU community this year to share challenges and opportunities with the senior university leadership team. The forum elicited comments and questions covering a broad range of topics.
In addition to creating an opportunity for discussion, the Open Governance Initiative stipulated that notes of the dialogue be shared with the Board, Senate, the Planning Council of Open Learning, the TRUSU Board of Directors and every Faculty Council. Those notes are now being circulated and have been posted (see Notes from Town Hall Sept. 15, 2016). If you have any questions about these notes, please feel free to email them to us. We will update progress on issues raised in these notes at the Town Hall in September 2017.
Christine and Matt will soon be inviting the community to the second Town Hall on Jan. 10, 2017 to discuss the development of the proposed budget for next year prior to its presentation to Senate and then the Board. This meeting will involve the community in addressing the budgetary challenges and opportunities facing the university in 17/18, which will augment the feedback received from the Budget Committee of Senate and Senate on the proposed budget. This meeting will also be live-streamed, so if you can’t make it to the event in person, you can tune in and ask questions online.
To further update on the Open Governance Initiative, the public meetings of Senate and the Board are now being live-streamed. The VPs and I have attended Faculty Council meetings of the Faculty of Arts and the School of Trades and Technology, and meetings with other faculties and schools are scheduled. The joint meeting of the Board, Senate and Planning Council of Open Learning is being planned for early in the new year.
Christine, Matt, Christopher and I are committed to a respectful and collegial approach to university governance. We are committed to working with students, faculty and staff to build trusting relationships and a strong community, and we look forward to continuing to be accessible via open dialogues at Town Hall, Faculty Council and other meetings throughout the course of the year.
President and Vice-Chancellor
Thompson Rivers University