I am delighted to present the 2017 Strategic Plan of the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences (CSAHS) at the University of Guelph.
When I arrived at the University early in 2016 to take on the role of CSAHS Dean, I quickly realized that one of my first challenges would be to lead the College in a collective visioning and planning process. The existing CSAHS Integrated Plan was in its final year, and the landscape at the University had changed significantly with new leadership and development of the University of Guelph Strategic Framework: Our Path Forward. We needed a new guide for decision-making within the College and clear direction for our actions over the coming years. It had been a number of years since members of the College had engaged in planned, collective discussions about their shared future. As a newcomer to the community, it was essential that I spend time talking with and listening to a broad range of College stakeholders to ensure that my leadership would be based on a shared vision for the College.
What you will see as you read through this Plan is a guide for moving the College forward in a purposeful manner to become a world-class leader in scholarship addressing critical issues facing our world. There is an emphasis on excellence, and on being recognized locally, nationally, and internationally for the outstanding work we do. The complexity of the issues we address and the changes we seek to facilitate require that we work together across and beyond our disciplinary traditions, so there is an emphasis on putting structures, resources and incentives in place to facilitate effective interdisciplinary collaborations and engagement with academic and non-academic partners outside of the College. This does not mean that disciplinary scholarship is less valued or supported. Indeed, strong interdisciplinary work requires strong disciplinary grounding. However, our sense is that we have solid systems in place to facilitate excellence in disciplinary work. We will continue to support those systems while we work to enhance inter- and trans-disciplinary endeavors. The Plan also emphasizes enhancing College infrastructure (including work processes, policies, and financial, physical, and human resources) to ensure that we provide a supportive work- and learning-place that allows students, staff, and faculty to thrive and excel.
Gwen Chapman, Dean