Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Brett's Blog

Leadership and governance in higher education

Occasional reflections by a university president on themes mostly related to higher education, university governance, and particularly Thompson Rivers University


Territorial acknowledgements

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019

Universities in Canada now commonly do “territorial acknowledgements.” For TRU, I currently use a version in the footer of my e-mails that goes like this:

Thompson Rivers University campuses are on the traditional lands of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc (Kamloops campus) and the T’exelc (Williams Lake campus) within Secwepemc'úlucw, the traditional and unceded territory of the Secwépemc. The region TRU serves also extends into the territories of the Stat’imc, Nlaka’pamux, Tsilh’qotin, Nuxalk, and Dakelh, and Métis communities within these territories.

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Why universities raise funds

Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019

Recently our university announced the highest fundraising goal in our history: to raise $50 million for our 50th anniversary in 2020. Quiet work over a period of years has already brought together $41 million from donors for our Limitless campaign. If this is a marathon, we are running the last few miles.

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What I wish politicians knew about universities

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019

Our once-every-four-years practice of electoral democracy is a good moment to reflect on what we expect and hope for in the people’s representatives. At time of writing, it seems unlikely that higher education will figure much in the current federal campaign. No doubt the candidates will focus on large issues like the economy, the environment and health care. But higher education is a significant part of long-term solutions regarding those three issues and many others.

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Fostering a new vision, one step at a time

Monday, Sept. 9, 2019

Research shows that people expect many things of leaders. Integrity, competence, communication skills, and relatability are likely high on most lists. But I find one expectation is particularly interesting: the idea that a leader should have a vision.

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Making sense of blogs

Monday, Sept. 9, 2019

I’m not certain yet who will be interested in reading a university president’s blog, but I have to imagine an audience. My mental model for a blog relates to the lost art of letter writing, and letters don’t make sense without readers.

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