A year ago, I was writing to you with the message of “A University Is Its People”, emphasizing your role in our important work and our ever-changing digital learning environment. As I write in my second year as President, I marvel at how quickly time flies by and I’m thinking about the critical role each of us plays in ensuring UFV student success and the importance of our institutional values.
But first, I want to say that I am thankful for our achievements and our adaptation to change. I see your hard work everywhere, signs of engagement and progress, action, and goals accomplished. I applaud the tremendous efforts of our faculty, staff, and administrators across multiple UFV campuses who serve our students, carry out operations, and drive UFV strategy.
I believe that we are building momentum as a university, and I am honoured to work with you and optimistic for the future of UFV. Together we will make our University an even better place to work and study, a place to both create community and contribute to the communities we serve. A place on secure footing for a prosperous future.
Earlier this year, members of the UFV community engaged in a dialogue around our strategic statements of vision, mission and values. And I am very pleased that in May our Senate and Board of Governors unanimously adopted these new statements for the university.
Our vision statement, our future aspiration, includes the important words of being known as a gathering place that is broadly inclusive to all; a place of learning, scholarship, and reconciliation, contributing to societal prosperity. I hope that you will help me look for ways to shift our educational and operational pursuits towards a future in which we fully accomplish our vision.
Our mission statement, describing our reason for being, is a simple statement of purpose, six words that I urge each of you to store in memory and use each day:
Engaging learners, transforming lives, building community.
And our core values reflect our beliefs in what’s most important at UFV. Values help us make decisions and guide our interpersonal actions. They are UFV’s foundation.
Integrity – We act honestly and ethically, upholding these values and ensuring our mission is delivered consistently.
Inclusivity – We welcome everyone, showing consideration and respect for all experiences and ideas.
Community – We cultivate strong relationships, acting as a hub where all kinds of communities – educational, scholarly, local, global, and cultural – connect and grow.
Excellence – We pursue our highest standard in everything we do, with determination and heart.
To be effective values need to be tangible and have purpose. They need to ring true and guide our actions and behaviours. I want each of us to make these core values live in our UFV day-to-day activities.
I believe that our core values perfectly describe UFV when we are functioning at our best; they describe a university that is forward looking, caring, and collaborative. And in order to function at our best, and live our values, we need to practice trust and respect.
With trust and respect we can become a true community of learning. One in which every employee sees themselves as a leader and a learner at UFV, able to innovate to create greater effectiveness and efficiency, without fear of failure or reprisal, feeling optimism and a sense of potential.
With trust and respect we can strengthen our university to be truly inclusive, a place that is more equitable and diverse, where everyone feels welcome regardless of differences.
With trust and respect we can show integrity in the face of our Colonial past by listening to, learning from, and honouring Indigenous voices. We can credit and support the contributions of Aboriginal people as the Fraser Valley’s – and Canada’s – first people. We can support Indigenous learners, incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing into our curriculum, and employ First Nations people. We can move forward with the Lálém ye mestíyexw (House of the Peoples), an organizing structure for Indigenization at UFV.
With trust and respect we can embrace the idea of excellence, operating as a university that is in tune with its past and future, eliminating the idea that access and excellence can’t coexist, and embracing the power of experiential and personalized learning to bring out the best in each of us and the students we serve.
With trust and respect we can further engage and cultivate strong relationships with the communities that sponsor us, becoming a hub for life-long learning, innovation, research, international exchange, continuing education, and mutual prosperity through shared resources.
Over the coming year, I will continue to work hard to earn your trust and respect, and to live these values of integrity, inclusivity, community, and excellence in my work. I urge you to join me in this effort, championing our values together so that UFV truly is IYAQAWTXW, the House of Transformation, a place of learning and inquiry, of achievement and success.
I thank you for all you do for UFV, and look forward to working with you this coming year.
Joanne MacLean, PhD
UFV President & Vice-Chancellor