Improved student experience, digital upgrades part of his vision for Capilano University
Bridget Stringer-Holden (she/her) // News Editor
Alison Johnstone // Illustrator
Kartik Bharadwa (he/him/his) joined Capilano University (CapU) as the new Vice-President of People, Culture & Diversity in January 2022, bringing with him years of experience at companies like Arts Umbrella — a non-profit teaching organization — and the B.C. Dental Association.
While his new role may seem like an out-of-the-blue career move, Bharadwa would tell you otherwise. “Post-secondary was definitely something that was on my radar as an industry I wanted to move into,” he said, noting that he joined CapU to give back to the community.
In addition to oversight of human relations programs and services at CapU, the VP People, Culture & Diversity position also oversees organizational development processes, including talent acquisition, employee engagement, and learning and development initiatives for employees.
“If we have an employee who is really engaged and focused on the success of the organization, ultimately, the person who benefits the most would be the student,” said Bharadwa. “What it really comes down to is [improving] the student experience.”
Part of that improvement would include a digital transformation through technological improvements. “I think that a lot of the practices are a bit dated and there is some legacy software that is in dire need of upgrading,” he said. “I think that would be something I would move forward on, primarily to assist people with becoming — not just more productive, but more effective and efficient.”
Although challenging, Bharadwa believes implementing new software would be worth it. “You want it to be an enriching experience,” he said. “I know how frustrating it is when you have to fill in a form online over and over again and then you click submit, and it doesn’t work.”
Although he’s still adjusting to the role and getting to know people, Bharadwa has built positive relationships with a few students and welcomes others to introduce themselves if they see him on campus. “If you have any questions or just want to stop by the HR office, come on down! I want to be very welcoming, as the university has been to me.”