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Capilano University President Paul Dangerfield comments on what makes CapU a unique place to work

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Louise Allison, human resources advisor for Capilano University (CapU), believes she works in the best of all possible locations.

The North Vancouver campus is situated on the side of a mountain, surrounded by lush rainforest. From Allison’s office window, she has views of downtown Vancouver, Burrard Inlet and Burnaby Mountain. “I’ve got one of the best views in the world,” she says. “It’s just unbelievably beautiful.”

The stunning scenery is not the only thing unique about CapU. The university serves a very particular region, comprised of the North Shore, the Sea to Sky corridor and the Sunshine Coast. It also has a very specific mandate, focused squarely on teaching and leaving no student behind.

“Our goal is to provide students from this region, and others, with a relevant education that allows them to succeed,” says CapU president Paul Dangerfield. “We have students who come here from all walks of life. We work to provide a culture of opportunity for all.”

CapU also works closely with regional businesses and municipalities to pursue integrated learning opportunities.

“A good example is our early childhood care and education program,” says Dangerfield. “When our students do their practicums, they do them locally. CapU alumni and practicum students work at licensed child care centres throughout the North Shore.”

CapU faculty, administration and support staff share a common purpose and drive, says Allison.

“There’s an amazing community spirit. The family I’ve got here is built on a shared sense of trust and commitment to collaboration. I feel blessed every day just to come to work.”

That sense of community is bolstered by a variety of well-being initiatives, including on-site yoga sessions, trail runs and mindfulness meditation seminars. Employees are also encouraged to volunteer and support charitable causes like the United Way, Scotiabank Charity Challenge and Giving Tuesday.

CapU is also placing a renewed focus on career development for its employees. This past September, the university launched a program called CapULead, focusing on growing leadership skills for all employees. The program offers courses that range from leading change to setting goals to conflict resolution.

“We are providing the skills that employees need to be leaders at all levels,” says Dangerfield. “The program is bringing together all members of our university community. We are breaking down silos and learning from each other.”


Submitted by: President's Office