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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University


 A new vision sets priorities for the next 10 years.

TRU’s former strategic priorities were developed to guide the university’s operations from 2014 to 2019. With these priorities coming to a close at the end of 2019, a new set of priorities was needed but, in addition—as President Brett Fairbairn heard from many faculty, staff, students, alumni, supporters and Board members—a new vision was needed for TRU. In response, President Fairbairn led a process to develop an inspiring and aspirational new vision for TRU that reflects the university’s unique value propositions and that is the “north star” for new priorities set for the next 10 years.

 The process was open and transparent.

At the start, we asked our community to weigh in on broader topics. Based on their responses, we extracted themes that surfaced, and invited them to respond to and discuss deeper and more focused questions—both individually and in groups, in-person and online, in small groups and in larger gatherings.

 TRU did not change its mission.

TRU’s mission articulates our inherent purpose as a university that will remain in place despite the internal and external changes that make it necessary to revisit our priorities and vision from time to time. However, the new vision reinforced and enhanced TRU’s capacity to fulfill its mission.

 We wanted a lot of people to take part.

It was important to have as much input into this process as possible, from the broader community and from our students, faculty and staff to ensure the vision we arrived at reflects our hopes and aspirations for TRU.

 Topics were set according to emerging themes.

Major themes that emerged from each Envision TRU question influenced subsequent questions as well as small group discussions that provided an opportunity to delve deeper into a topic.

 The process for small group discussions.

In Phase 1 we conducted 40 small group discussions. The content that emerged informed the focus of our Phase 2 consultations. In Phase 2 we conducted 67 small group discussions. In both phases, small group discussions took place on our campuses and in our communities, on a range of topics, and with mixed as well as singular groups.

 The Envision TRU Advisors Network.

The Envision TRU Advisors Network consisted of 14 individuals. The Advisor’s Network was a community of volunteers where each person represented a unique area of individual interest, professional experience, lived experiences, or ability. Students, faculty, staff and community members volunteered to join the Advisors Network. Together, they represented a diversity of perspectives, identities, cultural backgrounds, locations, areas of specialization and roles. Having an Advisors Network gave President Fairbairn the opportunity to contact individuals from time to time, to seek out their advice and insight on findings that emerged during the Envision TRU process.

 The Envision TRU experience for students.

To extend as many ways as possible for students to participate, we tailored a number of consultation events specifically for students, including at the Long Night Against Procrastination, Pizza with the President sessions in Phase 1 and Phase 2, a TRUSU student caucus session, and two World Café sessions in Phase 2.

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