UCN’s new strategic plan focuses on student success, reconciliation, engagement and administration

University College of the North’s (UCN) governing council released a new strategic plan May 13 as the institution celebrates its 15th year since being established as the successor to Keewatin Community College.

The plan includes new mission and vision statements as well as four strategic directions.

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The mission statement says that UCN “serves northern communities and people with education, training, teaching, learning and research, while also being inclusive and respectful of diverse Indigenous and northern values,” while the vision statement says that “UCN is building better futures for a stronger North” with guidance from the Seven Sacred Teachings of truth, wisdom, honesty, humility, courage, love and respect.

“University College of the North is taking a much stronger approach to serving the needs of the north,” said Cam Mateika, UCN Governing Council chair, in a press release. “UCN is a critically important institution in helping to ensure that Northern Manitoba remains strong, and our new strategic plan creates a foundation to help the north get even stronger.”

The four strategic directions in the plan include supporting student success, advancing an agenda of reconciliation, engaging with communities and industries, and ensuring responsible administration.

“UCN will recruit more students, provide them with access to post-secondary opportunities, and support them through to graduation,” says the first of these strategic directions. “UCN will provide relevant and flexible programming leading to good job opportunities.”

The university college’s curriculum, systems and processes will “support and reflect the strengths of Indigenous peoples in the north” and the school “will created opportunities for self-determined economic and social development by Indigenous communities” as ways to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation commission’s calls for action.

“UCN will partner with industry and communities in programming, research and economic development activities, including facilitating participation of northerners in the digital economy," says the third strategic direction identified in the plan. “UCN will play a leading role in steering the north towards greater prosperity and greater resilience in an ever-changing world.”

The fourth strategic direction says responsible administration will be achieved by ensuring that “Quality, effectiveness, and efficiency will permeate all we do.”

“UCN is focusing on ensuring that Indigenous and Northern Manitobans have access to educational opportunities that will lead to employment right here in the north,” said UCN president and vice-chancellor Doug Lauvstad. “UCN is working hard to ensure that serving the economic and social development needs of northern and Indigenous communities is at the centre of all that we do.”

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