Calgary, Alberta – 2018-2019 academic year marks an important milestone of the Graduate Students’ Association of the University of Calgary (GSA) with many outstanding achievements in advocacy, program and service development, and organizational sustainability. This is also the final year of the GSA’s 2016-2018 strategic plan which called for a new plan that would continue to improve the GSA’s accountability to the UCalgary graduate students.
After three months of intensive strategic research and development, the GSA Board of Directors approved the new strategic plan for the next three years 2019-2022 and presented it to the GSA’s Graduate Representative Council at the end of April. The Strategic Planning Committee gathered feedback from over 800 graduate students, GSA staff, departmental representatives, and Board of Directors to craft a refreshed mission and goals in order to reach our new vision.
GSA’s new vision: “To be recognized as the leader in graduate student advocacy and service delivery by our members, stakeholders, and external organizations across Canada.”
The new strategic plan focuses on sustaining the internal organization while maximizing the impact of the programs and services to support the success of all graduate students. The GSA recognizes the changing needs of UCalgary graduate students, therefore, is committed to enhancing meaningful communications, providing responsive and quality services, and promoting trust, inclusion, and transparency among the graduate student body. Advocacy remains one of the most important focuses of this plan in order to ensure UCalgary graduate students’ voice be heard loud and clear at the University and at all levels of government.
Brit Paris, 2018-2019 President led the strategic planning process and shares that she is most excited about the trackable objectives of the plan. She comments, “Through the objectives that the planning team developed, staff and elected officials will be able to develop and track their actions that will lead the GSA into the future.”
Coinciding with the rollout of the new strategic plan is the GSA’s appointment of Danielle Abbott as the new Executive Director effective April 15, 2019. During the past five years with the GSA as the Accounting Manager, then Director of Finance and Operations, Danielle has developed a strong understanding of the GSA’s operations, overseeing finances, human resources, and the Last Defence Lounge (LDL). She also served as the Interim Executive Director while the GSA conducted a thorough Executive Director search process. As an active participant in the strategic planning process, Danielle is well-prepared to champion our strategic goals and guide the organization to excellence.
Learn more about the GSA’s strategic plan here.