The University of Victoria is in the process of finalizing their strategic enrollment management (SEM) plan, and Jim Dunsdon, Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs, is excited about the way the process has developed and brought the campus together.
“We worked incredibly hard to provide opportunities for our campus community to become engaged in the development of the SEM plan,” Dunsdon said. “A transparent and clear process has led to the development of a stronger plan.”
The university kicked off their SEM planning in June 2017, after the adoption of a new strategic framework, new Indigenous Plan and International Plan, all of which articulated significant institutional commitments impacting enrollment.
“The SEM plan is an opportunity for us to realize those aspirations,” Dunsdon said.
Sharing information: Presentations, poster sessions and feedback
Key to the development of the plan was the establishment of a working group and subcommittees that included leadership from areas across campus.
“We were able to create a number of unique engagement opportunities to bring the community together, get feedback, and incorporate feedback on the plan,” Dunsdon said.
To communicate as the plan was developed, Dunsdon did an overview presentation with each faculty, describing the SEM process, how it fit with institutional planning, and inviting them to attend the four information sessions. Ahead of each session, materials were sent out regarding the work that had been done thus far and articulating goals, strategies and tactics.
Then committee members went to venues across campus with poster sessions to share the work that had been done. Attendees were able to look through the information, ask questions and leave feedback, which was taken into account as they moved into the next stages.
“One of the most exciting and surprising parts of the feedback process was the ambition expressed by people across campus,” Dunsdon said. “As a working group, we’d come up with enrollment goals and we heard back from the university community that they wanted us to do more than that. It really showed that people were interested in the work we were trying to do, had thought about it, and wanted the institution as a whole to move faster and farther, which was really neat.”
The SEM plan will be completed this fall.
Dunsdon will share more about the university’s planning process and communications plan in his session at the 2018 AACRAO SEM Conference.
Learn more about SEM planning across North American institutions at the AACRAO SEM Conference, November 11-14, 2018, in Washington, D.C.