New Kwantlen president sets goals for school
Alan Davis, the new president of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, got a warm welcome as the four Langley Rotary clubs held their annual inter-club meeting Wednesday night at Newlands Golf Club.
He also received a cheque for $25,000 from the Rotary Club of Langley, to establish an annual scholarship of $1,500 for a student in Kwantlen’s health sciences program.
Davis took over as president last year and has already worked with other administrators and the college board on a strategic plan that seeks to make Kwantlen Canada’s top polytechnic university by 2018.
“While we are at present the only polytechnic university in Canada, we want to put flesh on those bones in the next five years.”
As a polytechnic university, Davis said Kwantlen offers a combination of academic and skills training with hands-on experience and research.
“We blend theory and practice. We want our graduates to be active and engaged citizens.”
The goals that Kwantlen has set for 2018 include: being internationally recognized for teaching and scholarship; having grads well-prepared for success and citizenship; ensuring every program uses experiential learning, integrating the community and classroom; being the largest provider of continuing professional education in the region; having annual full-time equivalent student growth of five per cent, whether or not provincial funding is available; and, ensuring that the university identity is clearly articulated and well-understood at the university and beyond.
“We have to build our reputation by being really good at what we do,” he said.
In Langley, Davis wants to make Kwantlen even more a part of the community than it is today. It hosts the Framer’s Market. Cruise-In swap meet, music festivals and other events, but he sees the campus becoming a greater part of the community. Kwantlen’s campus is located on the edge of Langley City and is in a strategic place within the community, as it is adjacent to Highway 10, Glover Road and Langley Bypass.
Davis noted that the level of research going on at the horticulture program is among the best in the world, and Kwantlen is moving towards degrees in both horticulture and agricultural research.
The Langley campus now hosts the nursing program and he wants to broaden that into more health sciences. The “amazing” school of music is a natural stepping stone towards more courses in performing arts, and he said that ties in with Rotary’s work towards a performing arts centre in Langley.
Students in arts, science and other courses at the Langley campus should be able to finish their studies in Langley if they wish to, he said, instead of commuting to other campuses. He sees blending classroom learning with online learning as one way to do that.
Davis wants to engage with the community and hear from members of the public, as well as those with a stake at Kwantlen. He asked audience members to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter — @presadavis.
Kwantlen will hold its convocation at Langley Events Centre on May 31. Among those being given an honourary degrees will be Aldergrove sustainable agriculture expert Susan Davidson.