Priority 1

Fostering empowered & connected community

Steering Committee

  1. Executive Sponsor

    • Baljit Singh
  2. Lead or Co-Leads

    • Paul Gajda
    • Catherine McLeod
  3. Team Members

    • Nicole O'Brien
    • Cindy Adams
    • Stephanie Hawes

Strategy 1.1 | Effectiveness & Efficiency

Support and take action on innovative ideas and processes that improve efficiency and effectiveness

Your idea and action plan here


Progress: We are providing multiple opportunities for staff and faculty to share ideas for improving efficiency and effectiveness. Current staff survey with this as one of the questions is completed. A job manual for Faculty Assistants has been created to standardize tasks and share best practices. Honorarium forms have been improved to streamline and speed up the process and to remove confusion. Technician efficiency has been improved by hiring more assistants.

Increase opportunities for self-awareness and growth training

Lead: Catherine McLeod

Progress: Hosted a series of workshops focused on growing self-awareness through the "Enneagram" that were attended by about 50 of our faculty and staff

Create a simple-to-use, reliable delivery system for movement of supplies between Spy Hill and Foothills campuses

Lead: Paul Gajda

Progress: Followed up on an idea from a faculty member to improve sustainability: Internal UCVM courier service has been launched.

Liaise with the curriculum review group to provide and prioritize a sustainable staffing and scheduling model


Progress: A full scale "Staff Planning Process" was completed to align our staffing model to the faculty's needs. Adjustment of this model continues based on the current funding environment, pandemic restrictions, and the expansion grant requirements.

Strategy 1.2 | Connection & Engagement

Foster a collaborative work environment, empowered community, shared vision

Develop and implement a strategy for regular events to connect the community & build engagement (UCVM Recess, Social club events, annual retreat, awards, Festive lunch, etc.)

Lead: Paul Gadja

Progress: UCVM Recess and year end ice cream party were new additions to our social events during the 2018-2019 academic year and continued into the following academic year; the Festive Lunch and Annual Retreat have continued and we have changed our September awards celebration to include staff awards as well as faculty and student awards. Many of these events have gone virtual or are on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Initiate regular meetings for various staff groups (Faculty Assistants, Managers, Laboratory staff, etc.) to share ideas and knowledge. Include opportunities for learning about the work and priorities of other groups to increase understanding of each other’s roles.

Lead: Managers

Progress: Faculty Assistants, Managers, and Laboratory Professionals groups now have regular had opportunities to meet and develop collective strategies and learning opportunities. 

Create opportunities for increased celebration and awareness of accomplishments across the faculty (screens in multiple locations, events, Dean’s updates, newsletters, etc.)

Lead: Collene Ferguson

Progress: Plans for screens in high traffic areas to highlight UCVM faculty and staff accomplishments and news; End of academic year update was launched at 2018 June retreat. 

Provide space during the annual faculty and staff retreat for various working groups to share their accomplishments and challenges faced during the past year.

Lead: Catherine McLeod

Progress: Strategic Plan implementation teams shared strategies and progress at the 2018 and 2019 retreats. The Leadership retreat was virtual in 2020.

Increase a sense of ownership and engagement over changes and adoption of new technologies.

Lead: Collene Ferguson, Madeline Kapiczowski, Karen Garth

Progress: Crowdsourcing initiative launched in May 2020 to name UCVMs new faculty and staff online resource. 108 unique entries were submitted, and 92 people voted. UCVMs Intranet has been rebranded to VETNet.

Strategy 1.3 | Resources & Tools

Improve faculty, staff & student awareness of the human, technological, and physical resources available to them at UCVM and the University of Calgary.

Create and maintain an Internal People Pages searchable directory of faculty and staff skills and knowledge

Lead: Paul Gajda

Progress: This is on hold as it is not compatible with the new Drupal 8 site.

Enhance the onboarding process and materials for all employee and student groups

Lead: Catherine McLeod

Progress: A UCVM onboarding team has been established.  Flowcharts have been drawn to support academic staff onboarding coordinators. Flowcharts for sessional instructors, support staff, and graduate students are currently being developed. Dedicated email address for onboarding questions has been created.

Transform the intranet into a user-friendly and up-to-date “one-stop shop” for important resources and information

Lead: Catherine McLeod

Progress: Completed.  The Intranet Working Group launched an online, mobile-friendly and secure website called VETNet in June 2020. This “one-stop shop” provides an event calendar, quick links, FAQs, policies, procedures, guidelines, forms, onboarding support, committee content, and strategic plan updates. 

Invite UCVM partners and leaders of other University of Calgary service groups to management group meetings


Progress: Partners and advisors are included in Managers meetings, and are being invited to participate and present at Department meetings, Leadership Council meetings and Faculty Council on key topics.

Ensure the websites for UCVM operational groups and departments are supported and maintained.

Lead: Collene Ferguson

Progress: This is underway to be completed in December 2020.