Community Participation

Progress on Elevating Our Shared Priorities

We hope all OAC community members will use this document and the priorities outlined to guide their efforts and work. In particular, this document is the primary guidance for OAC’s academic units, Ridgetown Campus, and the Dean’s Office in the creation of their own strategic plans and the pursuit of operational activities. In turn, these activities will be reported on to the Dean of OAC and shared with the broader OAC community through a reporting process. The first "report" was published in late 2019.

To openly share ideas and encourage an organizational culture around Our Shared Priorities, we are updating this section of the website with examples from the OAC community each semester. If you have a suggestion of an initiative, process change, investment or a best practice that you have made or seen in your unit, please contact We’d love to share!

A Recap on Process

Our strategic planning process began late in the Fall of 2016, when the Strategic Planning Committee convened for the first time.

Following discussion, the committee decided to release an online survey in the spring of 2017 to staff, faculty and students for input on their ideas for the future of OAC. There were 134 responses from our community. Their ideas, feedback and suggestions were reviewed by the committee and included in a “Strategic Planning Status Report” (PDF), which was released in summer 2017.

To continue the conversations and consultations, four in-person meetings were held throughout the fall of 2017: an external community meeting with 22 participants, the Student Federation of the Ontario Agricultural College with 15 participants, associate diploma students at Ridgetown Campus with nine participants and in-person townhall for faculty, staff and students with 21 participants. An additional online opportunity for all community members was provided, with 16 submissions collected.

After reviewing all of the feedback and suggestions, the OAC Strategic Planning Committee submitted a report of consolidated feedback from the OAC community to the Dean’s Council Management Team. Throughout the fall of 2017 and spring of 2018, the Dean’s Council Management Team met several times to reflect on the report and draft this document: Our Shared Priorities.


Strategic Planning Committee Members 

The OAC Strategic Planning committee was tasked with leading the strategic plan development process. The committee consisted of nominated faculty from each academic unit and Ridgetown Campus, a staff representative and two student representatives.

  • Prof. Emmanuelle Arnaud, School of Environmental Sciences
  • Prof. Trevor DeVries, Department of Animal Biosciences
  • Jordan Graham, OAC Graduate Student Council Representative
  • Prof. Massimo Marcone, Department of Food Science
  • Colleen O’Brien, Staff Representative
  • Eric Prelaz, Student Federation of the OAC Representative
  • Prof. Darren Robinson, Ridgetown Campus
  • Prof. Rene Van Acker, Dean
  • Prof. Michael Von Massow, Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics,
  • Prof. David Wolyn, Department of Plant Agriculture
  • Prof. Nonita Yap*, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development

Dean’s Council Management Team Members

  • Prof. John Cranfield, Chair, Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Prof. Hugh Earl, Chair, Department of Plant Agriculture
  • Laurie Halfpenny-Mitchell, Senior Manager, Finance and Human Resources
  • Prof. Rebecca Hallett, Acting Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies
  • Prof. Art Hill, Chair, Department of Food Science
  • Prof. Sean Kelly, Director, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
  • Prof. Karen Landman, Interim Associate Dean, External Relations
  • Ken McEwan, Director, Ridgetown Campus
  • Prof. Jonathan Schmidt, Associate Dean, Academic
  • Prof. Jim Squires, Chair, Department of Animal Biosciences
  • Prof. Rene Van Acker, Dean
  • Prof. Jon Warland, Director, School of Environmental Science 

A special acknowledgement to Carly O’Brien of Intrigue Media and Stephanie Craig, OAC Communications Manager, for their support throughout the strategic planning process and, in particular, in the drafting of the final document.

* On Saturday, May 19th, 2018, Prof. Nonita Yap tragically passed away. She was a tireless and enthusiastic researcher and advocate. She truly embodied the University’s mission to “Improve Life” and will be greatly missed by the OAC community.