This draft contains comments relating to ongoing faculty recruitment; it will be revised to incorporate decisions expected shortly.
A major revision will be undertaken when the ongoing review of CHS is completed later this year.
A preliminary web version is available to demonstrate how additional information will be made readily accessible. http://www.interchg.ubc.ca/dorcey/tony/APbox1.html
Academic Plans for CHS, DPRC and ERRU are contained in Appendices.
Sustainability through democratization of planning.
To advance the transition to sustainability through excellence in integrated policy and planning research, professional education and community service.
To be the premier professional planning school in North America focusing on the challenges of implementing sustainability.
The SCARP Unit:
The School includes undergraduate, masters and doctoral teaching programs and three research and capacity building units: Centre for Human Settlements (CHS), Eco-Risk Research Unit (ERRU) and Disaster Preparedness Resource Centre (DPRC).
To advance knowledge of the dynamics and effective methods for democratically planning the sustainable development of settlements.
To conduct interdisciplinary research and educational activities that focus on decision making for managing environment, health and technology risks.
To support research in disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery through interdisciplinary collaboration and to integrate this knowledge into planning and disaster management practices.
Over the Past Year
The School has made remarkable progress in pursuing the goals it set twelve months ago. The most important achievements for the future of SCARP are our successes in attracting outstanding new faculty to replace those lost through retirements and to fill newly acquired chairs. The eight permanent faculty (6.5 FTE) are expected to be joined by four new appointments (3 FTE). Two will join the School in July 2001:
- Assistant Professor Elizabeth Macdonald: Urban Design
- Professor Leonie Sandercock: Planning Theory and Social Policy
Offers have been made and negotiations are still ongoing for appointments to the other two positions:
- Bombardier Chair in Sustainable Urban Transportation
- Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Urbanization in Asia.
Another significant achievement over the last twelve months has been the ability of the faculty, staff and students to work together to minimize the detrimental effects of the accumulated budget cuts during recent years and the temporary reduction of permanent faculty to 60% of the previous complement. Everyone has paid a heavy price in making extraordinary efforts and foregoing opportunities. Fortunately the School is now emerging from these difficult times with the prospect of being stronger than ever as a result of the new additions to the faculty and other opportunities that are before us.
Highlights of specific achievements over the last year are provided in Box 1 with links to more detailed information. These highlights demonstrate the School's vigorous pursuit of the goals it has established in response to the FOGS and UBC Academic Plans.
Selected Highlights of SCARP Achievements 2000-01
Research and Capacity Building
Major programs of research and capacity building were advanced in Vietnam, China, Brazil and Sri Lanka by CHS, the DPRC organized a major international conference and the ERRU advanced research on the role of learning over time in managing health, environmental and technology risks. Each of these projects was conducted with multiple partners and provided extensive opportunities for graduate student research and experience.
Accreditation reviews in 1999 by the US Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) and the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP), as well as an ongoing strategic planning process involving students, faculty, staff, alumni, practitioners and employers have identified the following key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the School.
- The experience, talent and commitment of its students, staff and faculty.
- Its established international reputation and recognition for sustainability planning.
- Its practiced interdisciplinarity.
- Its well-established partnerships, locally and globally, with governments, civil society and business.
- Its ongoing research and capacity building activities around the world, in particular, Canada, Vietnam, China, Sri Lanka and Brazil.
- Gaps in core faculty expertise required for accreditation due to retirements and resignations.
- Inadequate GPOF budgets for staff, supplies and expenses.
- Dispersal of space for students, staff and faculty among three widely separated locations.
- Limited IT capacity.
- Poor classroom facilities and equipment.
- Hiring of two faculty replacements in 2001.
- Creation of a new chair in transportation planning to be taken up in 2001.
- Creation of a new chair in sustainable urbanization in Asia to be taken up in 2001.
- Possibilities for additional new positions through the Canada Research Chairs program.
- Possibilities for additional new endowment funds.
- High levels of demand for our teaching, research and capacity building.
- Major and diverse funding opportunities for research and capacity building.
- Interest of planning practitioners in becoming more involved in teaching, research and capacity building.
- Further decline in GPOF for support of staff, supplies and expenses.
- Reallocation of overhead funds such that they are no longer available to support the delivery of existing programs and invest in the development of new projects and programs.
- Burnout of students, staff and faculty from unrelenting pressures.
- Competition from other programs beyond UBC for our faculty and prospective students.
SCARP'S GOALS AND STRATEGIES
The School's strategies are designed to capitalize on its strengths and opportunities and to mitigate its weaknesses and threats. Our overriding conclusion is that the School must focus its efforts and integrate its diverse teaching, research and capacity building activities if it is to get the greatest payoff from its scarce resources. Like others we must address three challenges: fostering productivity, excellence and satisfaction. In addressing these challenges we are guided by our vision: Sustainability Through Democratization of Planning. These words convey a lot about us:
- Our focus on sustainability is comprehensive and integrated in addressing its bio-physical, socio-economic and political-institutional dimensions. It is specifically focused on moving beyond principle to practice the challenge of implementation.
- Our belief is that sustainability will only be achieved by learning to collaborate, building partnerships and planning and acting together the challenge of empowerment and democratization.
This vision fundamentally shapes all that we do and aspire to, as illustrated in the major component goals and strategies.
- Enhance the doctoral program by recruiting students who are uniquely qualified to benefit from and contribute to the research programs of CHS, ERRU and DPRC.
- Strengthen the masters program by (a) developing an integrated core curriculum; (b) creating specialization modules based on the School's unique capabilities; (c) exploiting opportunities to offer courses in partnership with practitioners and communities; (d) providing for expanded internship and co-op opportunities; (e) complementing the thesis option with a professional project alternative; and (f) re-designing the program to facilitate completion within two years.
- Expand the options for obtaining certificates in areas of specialization to meet the demands from graduate students for additional qualifications and practitioners for ongoing professional development, exploiting the unique capabilities of CHS, ERRU and DPRC.
- Integrate the local and international capacity building programs of CHS, ERRU and DPRC into the Schools teaching programs at all levels.
- Explore further opportunities for enriching UBC's teaching programs by capitalizing on the international research and capacity building undertaken by CHS, ERRU and DPRC.
- Expand the use of web-based courses and development of CDRoms in the on-campus teaching and international capacity building programs
Research and Capacity Building
CHS Goals and Strategies
- Create a strong academic presence for CHS on campus and beyond.
- More effectively link research at CHS with the SCARP teaching program.
- Advance its existing role as a centre for excellence in international capacity building projects.
- Reinforce the role of CHS in community outreach.
- Make effective use of information technologies and new media in teaching and research.
- Commitment to interdisciplinary research, capacity building, internationalization and community outreach.
- Collaboration with academic, government and non-governmental organizations, and an interdisciplinary approach to projects where the intersections between cultural, economic, political and institutional forces in the human system dynamics need to be understood.
- Developing and testing theories and effective methods for democratically planning the sustainable development of settlements.
- Refining methods that are participatory (i.e., provide an opportunity for people to be involved in more aspects of planning) including social impact assessment and gender analysis (among others).
- The human, environmental and institutional aspects of Asian urbanization (a geographical strength we have had for a number of years)
- Human settlements implications of globalization in all its dimensions, including population flows, and how this shapes interactions between Vancouver and the Pacific Basin and, beyond that, the rest of the globe.
- Social policy development.
ERRU Goals and Strategies
- Expand the range of educational programs on campus to which it contributes knowledge regarding risk management issues.
- Develop a graduate teaching program on environmental risk and decision making within the existing IRE and SCARP programs in FOGS.
- Become recognized as one of the outstanding places in the world to conduct research or pursue educational programs in environmental risk and decision making.
- Developing theories and applied tests of prescriptive approaches to decision aiding for environmental risks including the refinement of approaches for integrating "analysis and discourse" into public policies for risk management issues.
- Building on the "constructed preferences" and "value focused thinking" paradigms that we have developed in recent years, as a means for understanding and guiding individual decision processes regarding environmental risk management tradeoffs.
- Risk communication involving stakeholders as the context in which prescriptive approaches to decision aiding can be applied.
- Learning as an applied strategy within decision analysis focusing on how straightforward approaches, such as recognizing "learning over time" as an objective for decision processes, can help improve the practice of adaptive management.
DPRC Goals and Strategies
- Integrate disaster management into the core curriculum of the SCARP masters program.
- Establish an area of concentration regarding disaster management at SCARP at the masters level.
- Provide internships and coop opportunities during actual disaster events.
- Expand options for obtaining a certificate in disaster management to meet the demand from practitioners for ongoing professional development.
- Integrate disaster management planning and community and regional planning with sustainability of communities.
- Integrate disaster preparedness and sustainable hazards mitigation objectives into CHS and SCARP projects.
- Strengthen research associate and faculty participation in DPRC projects.
- Provide real world research opportunities for SCARP students.
- Develop resources in disaster planning to respond to the needs of planning students.
- Assist in community recovery by coordinating collaborative student projects in post-disaster field placements.
- Develop its role as the leading Western Canadian centre for research in disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery.
- Contribute to Canadian research in the field of disaster management by soliciting funding and publishing work with a Canadian focus.
- Develop collaborative international partnerships for conferences, symposiums, workshops and research on disaster issues.
DPRC - Themes
- Development of Canadian government policy towards mitigation of hazards reduction, including the BC strategy for earthquake preparedness.
- Hazard assessment - making a contribution to the document, "Assessment of Natural Hazards in Canada" (supported by Environment Canada and Emergency Preparedness Canada) and supporting a BC perspective.
- Disaster impact on communities, especially communities in British Columbia.
- Recovery and contingency planning.
- International exchange on disaster preparedness and sustainability planning.
- International community capacity building for disaster preparedness and management.
In developing proposals for Canada Research Chairs and other potential sources of funding for new faculty positions, the School seeks
- to refocus and enhance its capability to meet its vision of sustainability through democratization of planning;
- to restore core interdisciplinary areas of expertise required to meet accreditation requirements;
- to build capacity in the use of computer-based methods, IT and multimedia; and
- to anticipate needs that will be created by upcoming retirements (Boothroyd and Rees on the five-year horizon).
Listed below are the School's priority subject areas. These might be combined in various ways. They are not in any particular order of priority. In addition, the specific expertise eventually obtained through the ongoing recruitment will have implications for priorities.
- Community-based planning in a context of globalization
- Disaster preparedness planning
- IT and planning
- Analytical methods for planning including GIS
- Regional development with emphasis on community transition in staple regions.
- The vast majority of the School's GPOF budget consists of faculty salaries and hence the hiring strategy is a key component of the funding strategy.
- Continuing cuts have severely eroded the residual budget for staff, supplies and expenses. Key strategies for addressing this problem include administrative re-organization to gain efficiencies, cost-recovery policies, and specific proposals requesting dedicated funds for capital and equipment as well as restoration of a basic supply and expenses budget adequate to meet the needs of the restored faculty complement.
- Major attention is being given to seeking increased external funding for the teaching program by seeking further endowments such as those from the Real Estate Foundation and Bombardier.
- Maximize the extent to which research and capacity building grants and contracts provide additional resources for meeting the School's teaching as well as research and capacity building goals.
- Capitalize on opportunities for building partnerships with communities, the planning profession and others that provide additional resources to the School.
- Develop certificate and diploma programs that earn income for the School.
- Seek early consolidation of the dispersed parts of the School in one location to increase productivity and morale (currently divided among Lasserre Building, West Mall Annex and Library Processing Building).
- Campaign for accelerated renovation of classrooms including upgrading for use of IT with backbone connections.
- Practice what we preach in the governance of the School: Sustainability through democratization in planning.
- Evaluate and revise the innovations in more open governance introduced in 1999.
- Continue the strategic planning process on an annual cycle and ensure action results and updated Academic Plans are produced.
- Expand the mechanisms for regular, efficient and productive interaction among those presently in the School, alumni, employers, practitioners, partner organizations and other academic units.
SCARP, FOGS & THE UBC ACADEMIC PLAN
The School has unique potential for advancing the TREK 2000 Vision and the UBC and FOGS Academic Plans, particularly with the new faculty appointments in prospect for 2001:
The School has long experience and great expertise in interdisciplinarity, internationalization and community engagement, three of the central imperatives of TREK 2000 and the UBC Academic Plan.
The School's teaching, capacity building and research programs have a major focus on "environment/sustainability", "health", and "globalization/internationalization", three of the areas of distinctive strength in the FOGS Academic Plan.
The School evidences all of the characteristics that have been identified as distinguishing FOGS:
- interdisciplinary in scope and approach,
- applied (i.e. addressing real-world problems), and
- having links (partnerships) with the community, both internal and external to the University.
2001 Academic Plan for CHS
2001 Academic Plan for DPRC
2001 Academic Plan for ERRU