After being interim since June 2018, Alisa Webb was appointed the position of vice president, student and enrollment management at UFV. Webb’s main goals for her time as VP students are to focus on student mental health — namely, how UFV can improve services and wait times — and supporting Indigenous students through identifying barriers Indigenous students at UFV face.
In her new role, Webb will oversee the Career Centre, Financial Aid and Awards, counseling services, athletics and campus recreation, the Office of the Registrar, and the Centre for Accessibility Services. Throughout this, Webb is expected to take into account the needs of students while simultaneously adhering to UFV’s goals, values, and commitments as outlined in UFVs education plan.
Webb, an alumni and previous faculty member, department head, and associate of the dean at UFV, chose a unique path in coming to the role of VP students, and she’s using her advantage to provide a specialized experience for students, and to help better understand her team.
“I have a keen understanding of the student learning journey in terms of what that looks like in class and through programs, and then what kinds of supports we can put in place to help students,” said Webb. “Because of that, I have a lot of respect from other faculty and academic administrators here, which really helps build further relationships and collaborations.”
One of Webb’s focuses for her time as VP students is mental health. Although she asserts that UFV currently has a dedicated team, and lower wait times than one would find in the community, she said UFV is still working to improve the student experience.
“This past year we were able to hire two temporary full-time counselors and we have advocated for and successfully received full-time funding for them,” said Webb.
Webb sees the matter of students’ wellbeing as something that needs to be viewed proactively, rather than reactively. Rather than deal with a crisis situation, Webb believes UFV needs to take preventative steps when it comes to mental health.
“What are we doing before students arrive on campus? What are we doing as soon as they arrive on campus? And how are we supporting them with skill development and whatnot in managing stressors and accessing different resources on campus before things become a crisis, and building ideas about health and wellness more firmly into our orientation programming,” said Webb.
She also hopes someone outside UFV with an objective point of view will be willing to come in to take a look at our current mental health model and see where we can improve how students are being supported.
Aside for Webb’s plans for the counseling centre, she’s also put in motion several other initiatives, including moving the Indigenous Student Centre to student services in B214, which will allow for better collaboration between both centres. Webb and her team have also been working with the Career Centre to create the Centre for Experiential and Career Education.
“We’re launching the centre for experiential and career education, which takes our current career centre and merges it with our co-curricular record and with our experiential education office to create a one-stop shop for students,” said Webb.
Webb believes dedication, commitment, and growth are what makes a good team, along with a willingness to work with other facets of the UFV community.
“We’re highly collaborative,” said Webb. “My job description has that written right into it; I’m more than happy to collaborate with anyone who wants to come to the table to bring ideas to share.”
Due to Webb’s long-standing involvement at UFV, she’s had substantial time to observe the UFV community. And, despite it being labelled a commuter campus, Webb believes UFV’s campus culture is thriving.
“There’s so many events, there’s so many things, and there’s a growing group of students that really want to be engaged,” said Webb. “They’re finding opportunities to be engaged and there’s no shortage of us encouraging them to be engaged. I think that we’re on the cusp of really exciting things and things that we can grow.”
Image: UFV Flickr