What would it take for you to become a student at AU?
It’s a question I’ve been asking a lot. I’ve asked community leaders, journalists, politicians, staff, professors, and random individuals who haven’t yet discovered Athabasca University. It’s a question I encourage you to ask too.
The answers have been insightful, often very personal, and consistently illuminating, while everyone’s story is unique, and the level of detail varies, the answer to this question is surprisingly consistent. Frequently, there is a strong desire to pursue university education, constrained by either uncertainty in themselves, uncertainty in their ability to balance education with the needs of their families and communities, and uncertainly about AU’s ability to deliver what they think they need.
It is abundantly clear, that students, alumni, government, and all of our stakeholders, including each of us wants AU to be successful and be proud of our place as the pioneers of new and innovative ways to learn.
We are meant to move, to always be on the journey, to blaze a trail only possible at a digital-first university. To set a course that others are compelled to follow and be part of. This is how we transform lives and transform communities - it is the genesis of our Imagine plan.
Imagine: Transforming Lives, Transforming Communities, is a five-year strategic plan to guide that journey. To help us navigate the unknown and allow us to move forward together. With each divisional plan, resource plan, and update, my commitment to you is to add clarity, show how activities fit together, add depth, and ensure you continue to have input in the choices we make. But have no doubt... we are moving.
Imagine is complex but understanding it need not be complicated. If you are new to our plan or if you are a regular reader, here’s how I would suggest you approach reading it:
Start with the Core Story. As you think about it, imagine talking about it with your friends or with your family around the dinner table. Find an example or a person you know who has lived it... maybe that’s you. Look for opportunities to tell our story again and again. Keep the Core Story in your mind as you read and think about the rest of the plan. [PAGE 3 OF PDF]
The next section is our “I-CARE” Values and our Commitments. On any long journey, there will be moments of excitement and celebrations as well as bumps and disagreements. Our values and commitments serve to keep us on track. They remind us of our commitments to ourselves and to our colleagues. They remind us of ‘how we show up’. They remind us to be collegial, collaborative, and be respectful of where we’ve come from and the communities whose paths we will share. [PAGE 4 OF PDF]
Our Strategic Directions are just that, they are our tools of way-finding and ensuring that our journey has positive impact on the things and people we care about. They provide us with our compass directions and guideposts by which to make our collective institutional decisions. [PAGE 5 OF PDF]
Our Strategic Roadmap is the final part of our Imagine plan and is our Call to Action. It is a guide to align activities and resources across Athabasca University. I would suggest reading it from the bottom up. [PAGE 7 OF PDF]
We owe it to our students, their families, and their communities to deliver on our potential. We owe it to our alumni, to our stakeholders, and we owe it to ourselves too. I know that we believe in AU and the transformative change we enable for our students, their families, and their communities.
What’s next for each of us? Read Imagine: Transforming Lives, Transforming Communities, think about it, imagine how you can help, ask lots of questions, and be ready to move beyond.
Neil Fassina PhD CPHR ICD.D
The Working Group membership is comprised as follows:
The Steering Team membership is comprised as follows:
Updated January 19 2018 by Web Services - University Relations