Planning is more than a period or point of time in a year. Most definitions of planning clarify that planning is, in fact, a process. One part of that process should always be reviewing progress towards the stated goals of a plan, and assessing if the course of action selected to achieve those goals will/can result in the desired outcome.

The Advancement Leadership team (ALT) sets aside a full day once every quarter for strategic planning discussions. On Sept. 8, this meeting included a review of our progress towards the objectives we hope to complete by the end of Year 2 (2021-22) of Forward, Together, discussions about our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion efforts, a review of staff across the Office of Advancement, and an update on the Driving Development initiative.

It is fair to say that these days are equal parts energizing and exhausting, but it is also undeniable that setting aside time for these discussions is critically important. We have lofty ambitions for Queen's Advancement, so proactively engaging in a year-round planning process helps keep us all focused on the key priorities required to achieve our goals. 

QUIRC and the importance of internal communications

Building a Better Workplace recommendations included a chorus of ideas related to communications and an internal intranet. We heard lots of reasons why a contemporary intranet would be beneficial, but we also already have an intranet that is not currently being fully utilized – the Queen's University Intranet Resource Centre for the Office of Advancement, affectionately known as QUIRC. Respecting that any new intranet will take time and resources, ALT has therefore recommitted to QUIRC.

We acknowledge that QUIRC has limitations, but it is also fair to say that many of us are simply not using it. While we are not – at least at this time – building new capacity in QUIRC, members of the ALT will make a concerted effort to include content only available through QUIRC in future editions of ALTogether Now, or a tip or training on how to get the most out of it. The training videos on QUIRC are also being updated to provide a self-serve orientation to the tool.

Internal communications were a big theme throughout the recommendations from Building a Better Workplace. ALT has furthermore committed to reviewing the various ways and places Advancement staff are communicating with one another, and we will inevitably fine-tune our strategies based on this review. In the meantime, I hope you will join me in familiarizing yourself with what QUIRC has to offer as one step in our internal communication plans.

QUIRC profiles

One outcome from Building a Better Workplace was a recommendation to share information about employee roles and responsibilities in a central location. Upon considering this recommendation this summer, it struck ALT that we already have a vehicle to fulfill this.

Specifically, Queen's Advancement staff can build a personal profile about their role and responsibilities on QUIRC. You can also post other information about yourself. Only a few individuals have a completed profile on QUIRC, so if you have not built out your employee profile– or perhaps you have not updated it recently – please take some time to do so at your earliest convenience.

Building a Better Workplace commitments summer updates

In the June 28 edition of ALTogether Now, ALT committed to completing the following Building a Better Workplace recommendations by Sept.1:

  • Establishing meetings norms
  • Unit descriptions
  • Staff bios on the website
  • Employee spotlight to include current staff

We confess we didn't fully meet the deadline, but progress has been made on all these initiatives. The first two items will be completed by the end of September: Per another section of this newsletter, everyone is encouraged to provide their personal bio through the employee profile function on QUIRC as soon as possible; and current staff have been profiled in the Employee Spotlight in ALTogether Now since the beginning of the summer. 

Also in the June 28 edition of ALTogether Now, ALT committed to reviewing the full list of Building a Better Workplace recommendations at the end of the summer – which is, sadly, upon us – and identifying things we will work on in the fall. The full list of Building a Better Workplace recommendations is available in the June 28 newsletter, and ALT will be reviewing these at our meeting either Sept. 21 or Sept. 28.


Yale University professor Dr. Laurie Santos has studied the science of happiness and found that many of us do the exact opposite of what will truly make our lives better. You may wish to read this recent, short interview with Dr. Santos.

Employee spotlight

The Employee Spotlight celebrates the arrival of our new staff and current staff by profiling responses they share through a fun and informal survey that will help us get to know them better. Be sure to review these profiles and use these fun facts and tidbits to find commonalities, embrace differences and spark a conversation.

Please welcome Miranda Pugh in the position of Executive Director, Development, Faculty of Law. Learn more about Miranda and why she wanted to join the Advancement team.

Today's current Advancement staff feature is, Bobbi Kaiser, in the position of Data Quality Coordinator, Data Governance and Data Quality, Advancement Services. Learn more about the how Bobbi's family approaches sustainability. 

Jobs with Advancement

We need your recruitment help. Know great talent that would be a good addition to our team? If so, please promote the vacancies below with your networks and let’s find some amazing new team members.

Applications (including a cover letter and résumé) must be submitted through CareerQ. For additional information on this posting, please reach out to either Carla Ferreira Rodrigues or the hiring manager for the position you are interested in.

Apply for available positions 

Donor Engagement Officer, Principal Gifts Principal Gifts, Department of Development September 26 8 Continuing
Donor Relations Officer, Communications and Engagement Donor Relations, Advancement Marketing, Communications and Donor Relations September 26 8 Term – 6 months (Until Feb 2, 2022)

Fun Fact

Land acknowledgements

Do you want to learn more about how to develop a personal land acknowledgement? The Office of Indigenous Initiatives can help. You can learn about the practice and performance of Indigenous land acknowledgements directly from Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Associate Vice-Principal of Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation. 

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