After over a year of consultation and development, Humber is on the right path.
That is the message Humber President Chris Whitaker delivered at a town hall at Humber’s North Campus regarding the 2018-23 strategic plan on Oct. 3.
According to Humber’s strategic plan, college administration will be focusing on creating career-ready citizens, providing accessible education and having a healthy and inclusive community in the coming years.
Gina Antonacci, Associate Vice President Academic, said creating career-ready citizens focuses on increasing the depth and breadth of Humber’s work-related experiences and applied research.
“[We are] recognizing and respecting the work that is already being done in these areas,” she said.
Another goal laid out in the strategic plan includes building upon existing partnerships with industry, professionals and alumni groups to better coordinate the needs of students with professional expectations.
“They want to connect with us, they want to learn from us and they want to be part of what we have to offer as well,” Antonacci said.
Shelley Charles, Humber’s new Dean of Indigenous Education and Engagement, said Humber is moving towards the Indigenization of the college as part of its new accessibility plan.
Humber will be focusing on implementing an Indigenous education plan over the next five years whereby Indigenous knowledge will be included in both the classroom and the curriculum.
Continued sustainability improvements will also play a big role in Humber’s new plan.
Angelo Presta, Senior Developer, Capital Facilities and Facilities Management, said the college will develop a new five-year sustainability plan with an extensive consultation process.
Presta also committed the college to attaining a gold certificate from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Humber has held a silver certificate in this sustainability tracking system for the past six years.
Current developments working towards this commitment include the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation, which is currently under construction at North campus. The college is looking into adding solar panels to the centre so it can provide all its required energy on-site.
Whitaker said the purpose of this new plan is to ensure Humber remains responsive to the needs of students and employers.
“That requires a lot of change … learning’s changing, the needs of the economy are changing, so we need to continue to find ways to be innovative,” he said.
Alexander Shvarts, School of Liberal Arts Professor, said while the new strategic plan was impressive, he would have liked to see more commitments to health and sustainability when it comes to Humber’s food culture.
“If we want to be courageous, like we’re saying, and innovative … what we need to do is reform the whole food, health and wellness culture on campus,” Shvarts said.
He said this includes not renewing Humber’s contracts with Compass and Chartwell, which provides catering and food services to the college.
Instead Shvarts said Humber would be better served by working with the school’s own culinary programs to provide students with better, healthier and more sustainable meals and food options.