Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.58
Liaison James Gordon
Submission Date March 3, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Thompson Rivers University
EN-13: Community Stakeholder Engagement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 James Gordon
Environmental Programs and Research Coordinator
TRU Office of Environment and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution adopted a framework for community stakeholder engagement in governance, strategy and operations?:

A brief description of the policies and procedures that ensure community stakeholder engagement is applied systematically and regularly across the institution’s activities:

Here is a brief description of the policies and procedures that ensure community stakeholder engagement is applied systematically and regularly across the institution’s activities. Several examples will explain why this is so.
Regarding governance, the membership of the TRU Board of Governors is specifically made up of members from a cross-section both of TRU staff members (faculty, administrators and staff) and students, as well as stakeholders from the broader community, including members from the First Nations community. The reasons for structuring the 15-member board like this are articulated in a passage from the Board’s website: “The Governors' varied backgrounds provide valuable contributions during Board deliberations. Board members bring the views of various constituencies to the Board table, however there are no advocates for any one group. Decisions are made in the best interest of the University.”
At the level of how most faculties operate, there is also regular community stakeholder engagement. Industry advisors from the outside community regularly participate in faculty program decisions.
TRU researchers also regularly participate with or provide their findings to community members. TRU researchers, in collaboration with the TRU Research and Graduate Studies office, very often participate with, or conduct research for, community stakeholders. Doing so means they are fully engaged with the perspectives of that community member on a particular research topic.
Regarding strategy and operations, similar processes were followed for developing three of TRU's cornerstone planning documents: the TRU Academic Plan (http://www.tru.ca/__shared/assets/Academic_Plan24460.pdf), the TRU Campus Master Plan 2013 (http://www.tru.ca/__shared/assets/2013_Campus_Master_Plan31594.pdf), and the TRU Campus Strategic Sustainability Plan 2014 (http://www.tru.ca/__shared/assets/Campus_Strategic_Sustainability_Plan_201433501.pdf ). Each of these plans adopted a framework for community stakeholder engagement. Each plan specifically reached out to and sought input from members of the local community at large, including members from the local First Nations community. Several opportunities were made available for stakeholders from across the Kamloops community to get involved. There were town-hall type sessions (both on campus and at community locations) for community stakeholders to voice their opinions either vocally or in writing--and both anonymously or known--as well as online options (through direct email or surveys).
When TRU started in 1970 (as Cariboo College), the very development of the programs and the campus involved discussions with key community stakeholders to arrive at collaborative decisions (such as types of programs it would offer, where the campus would be located, and how it would be situated within the city). This type of City/TRU decision-making process is still at play, as evidenced in 2011 by the expended development of the Tournament Capital Centre recreation centre, which used parts of TRU-owned land for development.
The recently formed TRU Community Trust (TRUCT) (formed in 2013) also consulted with community stakeholders regarding its mission. The TRUCT is a corporate trust, wholly owned by TRU, and was created as a separate legal entity for development of TRU’s campus property. It is modeled after similar property trusts in place at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. From its website it reads: “The TRU Board of Governors consulted with students, faculty, staff and the community. As the concept is developed, further consultations will include all of the above plus the TRU Community Trust, the City of Kamloops and the developer as stakeholders.“ (http://www.tru.ca/vpadmin/university_village.html#8)
The framework for all types of community stakeholder outreach is constantly being updated and improved upon in order to ensure it's as effective as possible depending on the community stakeholder group or groups TRU is seeking input from.

A brief description of how the institution identifies and engages community stakeholders, including any vulnerable or underrepresented groups:

As an institution, TRU has typically always used--and continues to use--a very inclusive, collaborative, open and systematic approach with its decision-making process. Evidence of this is the approach that TRU used to develop the three key planning documents just mentioned in the field above; or that it uses when trying to decide on who should sit on the Board of Governors or other key bodies. This approach is very similar. TRU seeks out voices from all concerned parties and asks them to come to the table to discuss the issues at hand. First Nations members have always been consulted and asked to sit at such tables. Key decisions have always been made at TRU this way.

List of identified community stakeholders:

This cannot be a complete list, since TRU’s community stakeholders would number in the thousands. Here, however, is a sample list of identified TRU community stakeholders--along with First Nations--that TRU has dealings with:
• First Nations: members and bands from the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council, which represents 9 Secwepemc bands in the region surrounding Kamloops (http://shuswapnation.org/about/council-of-chiefs/)
• Educational Organizations: University of British Columbia; BC School District 73
• Government Bodies: City of Kamloops; Thompson Nicola Regional District; BC government ministries (Advanced Education; Environment; Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations)
• Private Sector Organizations, trade unions: Industry advisors for various TRU programs (there is a broad variety of these people who help with many programs in many faculties/schools, including: Nursing; Trades and Technology; Business and Economics; Adventure, Culinary Arts and Tourism; and Law); Riverside Energy Systems; Urban Systems
• Stakeholders from civil society (e.g. NGOs, NPOs, underrepresented and vulnerable populations): Friends of the Garden (active with TRU Horticulture dept.); Kamloops Art Gallery; Western Canada Theatre; Fresh Outlook Foundation; BC Sustainable Energy Association; Kamloops 350; Interior Car-Share Cooperative; Kamloops Bike To Work Week; MS Society of Kamloops; Kamloops United Way
• Utilities Partners: Fortis BC; Absolute Energy; BC Hydro

A brief description of successful community stakeholder engagement outcomes from the previous three years:

Since the three planning documents mentioned before are pivitol plans that touch on almost every aspect of TRU, and since they all went through a thorough and intensive community stakeholder engagement process, they are mentioned again here:
• TRU Academic Plan (http://www.tru.ca/__shared/assets/Academic_Plan24460.pdf)
• TRU Campus Master Plan 2013 (http://www.tru.ca/__shared/assets/2013_Campus_Master_Plan31594.pdf)
• TRU Campus Strategic Sustainability Plan 2014 (http://www.tru.ca/__shared/assets/Campus_Strategic_Sustainability_Plan_201433501.pdf )

The website URL where information about the institution’s community stakeholder engagement framework and activities is available:

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