Today, at an all-employee town hall, Georgian College President and CEO Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes congratulated employees on how well the college has adapted to the realities of the pandemic, and announced plans for a bold new digital innovation strategy to lead the college into the future.
During the pandemic, Georgian has made rapid adjustments to deliver curriculum and student services in a primarily remote environment. At the employee town hall, more than halfway into the fall semester, MaryLynn acknowledges the progress the college has made and congratulated employees on how well they’ve embraced technology to move most academic programs and services to remote delivery. The college also detailed plans for the winter semester, with 85 per cent of courses being offered remotely. And with the unpredictability of potential future waves to the pandemic, for those students with in-person learning, 20 per cent of those activities will be compressed to less than 13 weeks to reduce the amount of time required to be on campus.
Building on this successful shift and in response to student and employee feedback, MaryLynn also announced a bold plan to lay the groundwork now to frame how – through a multi-phase, multi-year digital innovation project – Georgian will enhance their digital learning resources and student services to position the college for success during and on the other side of the pandemic.
“Aside from discussions about our continued focus on the health and safety of our students, there’s one constant in the conversations I’m having at the college and in the community and that is, “How can Georgian be a leader in an increasingly digital world and continue to adapt in a meaningful way to provide the best experience possible for our students?,” says MaryLynn.
“That’s why I’m announcing the creation of a new interdisciplinary portfolio that will draw together key resources from across the college who will thoughtfully and strategically develop an innovative digital strategy to benefit the entire college. Let me be very clear: our focus is to enhance service and learning both in person and remotely,” adds MaryLynn.
“The Board of Governors has intensified our interest in digital innovation at Georgian since the onset of the pandemic,” remarks Paul Larche, Chair, Georgian College Board of Governors. “The Board is fully supportive of the digital innovation project and will closely monitor progress as the college brings the many facets of it to fruition,” adds Paul.
An overview of the new, interdisciplinary approach was presented at the town hall by Janet Davis, the newly appointed Vice President, Strategy and Innovation; Kevin Weaver, Vice President, Academic; Jamie Doran, Executive Director, Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and David Johnson, the newly appointed Associate Vice President, Digital Innovation.
MaryLynn also confirmed the college will make investments in our people, in utilization of external experts, and in engaging employees to help shape the vision and the implementation of new technology and processes that meet our service delivery and academic quality goals. Additional resources will be provided for teaching, learning and services this year. The first major deliverable is the completion of a comprehensive multi-year digital innovation business plan by March 31 that will go to the Board of Governors for approval.