Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Open Governance Initiative

Thompson Rivers University is committed to fostering an environment of openness and transparency. The Open Governance Initiative, established in 2016, moved the university further in this direction by identifying specific initiatives the university would take to increase the openness and effectiveness of TRU's collegial governance structures and the accessibility of its senior administrators.

Each year, the university hosts two town hall meetings. The first, held in the fall semester to kick-start the academic year, invites students, faculty and staff to share their ideas of possible challenges and opportunities in the year ahead and to engage in an open dialogue with the senior leadership. The second town hall is held during the winter term with a focus on the university's proposed budget for the following academic year.

Both town hall meetings are live-streamed, and notes are taken and shared with the university's Board of Governors, the Senate, the Planning Council for Open Learning, the TRUSU Board of Directors and every Faculty Council.

In addition to town halls, members of the senior executive (president and vice-presidents) host information sessions on items of interest to the TRU community.

As part of the Open Governance Initiative, the Board of Governors, the Senate, and the Planning Council for Open Learning hold a joint meeting in the winter term to discuss their mutual roles as governance bodies, and develop a deeper understanding of TRU's unique tricameral governance structure. Additionally, members of the senior executive now meet annually with each of TRU's Faculty Councils. This provides an opportunity for members of each faculty or school to engage in a conversation with the executive which assists the executive's understanding of each faculty's or school's unique challenges and opportunities.

The Open Governance Initiative has also resulted in two TRU community members being invited to the board agenda meetings: one student member and one faculty or staff member. As well, the Chair of the Senate Steering Committee now participates in the Senate agenda meetings.

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