Though students make up a large portion of UW’s population – we are just one part of a much bigger machine. A large component of the University’s function and success is its employees including teaching and research faculty, people working in administration – even custodial staff. Their work and job satisfaction are all key to the success of the university, so it’s no surprise that a robust employer-staff relationship is a component of the strategic plan. Marilyn Thompson, associate provost, human resources and Carlos Mendes, president of the staff association are leading the theme, which focuses on creating a good career environment for current staff as well as becoming the employer of choice for people in their field. [Students] should expect to get the best education from their best people in their field. We’re putting measures in place to ensure that,” said Thompson. Part of ensuring UW is attracting the best of the best in terms of faculty is making the university is known to be a good employer, meaning they offer competitive salaries, benefits, learning opportunities, and in general, a good work experience. “We’ll make sure that all of the infrastructures and systems that are in place at the university that many students don’t see, think about, [or] care about on a daily basis – we will have the best in place,” said Thompson. Thompson and Mendes said this theme is an overarching theme of the strategic plan – along with the sound values theme. Thompson said the other themes can only be successful if UW has the best people in place to accomplish them. “It’s actually the foundation for all of it,” Thompson said. High profile and high quality staff and researchers will increase UW’s reputation with the outside world, but it also increases its attraction to future students. The buzz around Chris Hadfield joining UW’s teaching staff no-doubt helped a few perspective students make their final choice. Thompson and Mendes say they’ll be reaching out to current staff next year for feedback on how to improve the current employer-employee relationship and the general working environment. A townhall will be held June 18 to discuss the progress of the theme as well as answer questions from the UW community. More information can be found at <a href="http://www.uwaterloo.ca/strategicplan">www.uwaterloo.ca/strategicplan</a>.