Focused on the future
The University of Saskatchewan is in a time of remarkable change – change driven by the challenges and opportunities of future generations, and now by a global pandemic that has had caused a tectonic shift in economic, social and cultural systems around the world. Only a few times in history has humankind so suddenly needed to react, rebalance, and adjust to such a shift. So, what will the post-pandemic world look like for the University of Saskatchewan?
Post-Pandemic Shift Project
Late last year, President Stoicheff launched the Post-Pandemic Shift Project, an initiative designed to inform our change processes as we drive our intent to be the University the World Needs in a post-pandemic world. Through the insight and contributions of members of our community, we are building a shared understanding of how we can best emerge from this historic pandemic together.
The project, led by Vice-President University Relations, Debra Pozega Osburn and guided by a Commission of campus stakeholders made up of faculty, staff and students, has brought hundreds of voices into discussions about what lies ahead.
The Project is grounded in the principles of wahkotowin
The Project is grounded in the principles of wahkotowin, a Cree concept that teaches us that “everything is related” and that our shared kinship and interdependence will shape our future. In line with this concept, the Project will link the genuine voice of many communities with the critical thinking, pedagogic expertise, and informed experience of the USask community to inform our change process. Through thoughtful, wide-ranging discussions about how lives have changed – work, communities, families, futures – we can better understand how to be the university the world needs.
The goals of the project, are simple:
- To engage with and listen to internal and external stakeholders to learn how the pandemic will change their lives in the future; and
- To reflect those voices in a concise written report that can be used as a resource to guide USask community members in post-pandemic planning.
Discussions with students, faculty and staff
Over the past several months, members of the Post-Pandemic Shift Commission engaged with a number of different stakeholders within the USask community. Through a campus-wide conversation starter (How can we as a community be the university the post-pandemic world needs?) and a series of small group conversation circles, and thematic workshop sessions, the Commission brought staff, students, faculty, researchers, Elders and senior leaders together to share their thoughts about what our university could and should be like in a post-pandemic world.
Without exception, every interaction has been thoughtful, genuine, and has provided unique insights into the needs and aspirations of our community.
Discussions with our external communities and stakeholders
To understand how the pandemic has impacted the lives of our key stakeholders and partners, we have been engaging in conversations about how their lives, goals and future plans have changed – personally and professionally – what challenges and opportunities the pandemic has opened up for their organizations, and what they think we will be the most notable differences between the way we worked, led and lived before, and the way we work, lead and live in the future, as a result of this pandemic.
About our discussions
Discussions with external communities, led by Vice-President University Relations, Debra Pozega Osburn, already have begun and will continue through the spring. Discussions within the university are facilitated by a Commission of campus stakeholders to engage with the campus community, to understand how lives have changed, and to gather ideas about our post-pandemic university.
The Commission, appointed by President Stoicheff and chaired by Vince Bruni-Bossio and Candace Wasacase-Lafferty, will provide insight on external conversations, lead internal engagement, and bring together the perspectives gathered. By summer, the Commission will supply the president with a report summarizing engagement, outlining findings, and providing a list of recommendations on the impacts and opportunities of the pandemic for USask.
|Angela Bedard-Haughn||Dean and Professor, College of Agriculture and Bioresources|
|Sarah Buhler||Associate Professor, College of Law|
|Pamela Downe||Professor, Archaeology and Anthropology, College of Arts and Science|
|Marcy Hildebrand||Events and Protocol Officer, University Relations|
|Don Leidl||Assistant Professor, College of Nursing|
|Kiefer Roberts||Student, Political Studies, College of Arts and Science|
|Vicki Squires||Associate Professor, Educational Administration, College of Education|
|Nancy Turner||Director, Teaching and Learning Enhancement, Teaching, Learning and Student Experience|
|Candice Weingartner||Director, Academic Technologies, Information and Commmunications Technologies|
|Vince Bruni-Bossio||Associate Professor and Deptartment Head, Edwards School of Business|
|Candace Wasacase-Lafferty||Senior Director, Indigenous Engagement|