2015 CAE Recipient Profile - Carleton University


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Carleton University

From its humble beginnings on Ottawa’s First Avenue, Carleton has grown into a dynamic research and teaching institution with a tradition of anticipating and leading change. Today, the university sits on more than 62 hectares with 46 buildings, five kilometers of underground tunnels that connect to each building, a site between the Rideau River and the historic Rideau Canal, just a short distance from downtown Ottawa. The university provides an excellent education and experience to its more than 28,000 full- and part-time students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Carleton’s more than 860 academic faculty members are recognized internationally for their scholarship and cutting-edge research in more than 65 disciplines. Our students and faculty are supported by 1,090 professional services staff (both full-time and part-time), who share the goal of providing a superior learning experience for the university’s students.

In 2013, Carleton President Roseann O’Reilly Runte unveiled the university’s five-year strategic integrated plan (SIP) entitled Collaboration, Leadership and Resilience: Sustainable Communities – Global Prosperity.  The plan informs the university’s decision-making, highlights priorities and sets specific targets, with timelines, over the next five years. This plan was developed through a highly consultative process spearheaded by a Strategic Planning Task Force made up of 15 faculty, staff and students from across the institution.

Carleton University’s vision states: Carleton University will be known nationally and internationally as a leader in collaborative teaching and learning, research and governance. Our students, faculty and staff will be critically engaged, productive citizens and highly qualified contributors to the 21st century

The SIP highlights Carleton’s many strengths, one of which include: Our People: Carleton’s greatest strength is the collaborative outlook and diversity of the people who dedicate themselves to excellence as they work and study at our university. The values statement, as outlined in the SIP, directly complements Carleton University’s ongoing endeavours in developing and fostering a healthy workplace. The welcome message on the Healthy Workplace website, co-signed by President Runte and Ed Kane, Assistant Vice-President (University Services), asks faculty and staff to work together to “make Carleton the healthiest university and workplace in Canada” and directly supports the goals of the SIP.

At Carleton University, we value the health and well-being of our faculty and staff. The institution has a Healthy Workplace Policy which recognizes the social and physical environment, and that individual health practices are important factors collectively contributing to each employee’s ability to participate fully and positively in the university’s mission.

The university initiated its healthy workplace journey in 2007 when it commissioned the Employee Recognition and Wellness Benchmarking Project to examine best practices at post-secondary and public institutions that had implemented successful healthy workplace initiatives. The final report made recommendations to enhance faculty and staff health and well-being, which included: adopting the Excellence Canada Healthy Workplace® PEP®, engaging senior leadership to model the way, and creating a committee structure to foster a healthy workplace culture and develop healthy workplace programs. 

In spring 2011, Carleton applied for, and achieved, Level 1 of the Healthy Workplace® PEP®.  The university is proud to be the first and only Canadian university committed to Excellence Canada’s Healthy Workplace® criteria. This is a differentiating factor that sets Carleton apart from others. In spring 2014, Carleton continued its Excellence Canada journey with its Level 2 application, which it successfully earned. In the same year, a three-year Healthy Workplace Plan called Healthy Conversations, Healthy Relationships, Healthy People, Healthy Community was developed following extensive research and feedback. It provides goals in three areas of focus – health promotion, mental health and work-life balance – and is a roadmap to achieving the stated goals. As part of the research for the plan, mental health and well-being emerged as an area where more work needed to be done. As a result, Carleton has established both a Mental Health and Well-Being working group and advisory committee to inform the university’s work in this area, and released the three-year Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy to systematically assess and enhance mental health programs, policies and initiatives. We began our Mental Health at Work® journey and submitted our Bronze Level application in August 2015.

In addition to Healthy Workplace® and Mental Health at Work®, Carleton’s Finance and Administration division pursued the Quality Framework certification and received PEP Level 1 in May 2011. Recognizing the value of this standard as a means of continuous improvement, in November 2012, Finance and Administration began pursuing the Excellence, Innovation and Wellness certification. As well, an Excellence Working Group representing the 10 diverse departments within the division was formed to help guide us through our journey. In June 2014, Finance and Administration was awarded Bronze Level.
Shortly after that accomplishment, work began on the preparation for the Silver Level application, which was submitted in July 2015.

At Carleton, we are committed to pursuing excellence in how we work and plan so that we can provide a healthy, safe and respectful campus for our faculty, staff and students.