Strategic Refresh/Plan Update
"Through this new strategic plan, our community will set bold and ambitious goals that renew, refocus and recharge our efforts as a University.
Whether you are a student, staff or faculty member, alumnus or community partner, we want your aspirations for U of G and our collective future to directly shape this plan. I encourage you to attend a community consultation or submit your feedback through the survey."
Last spring, the University embarked on a process to review and refresh our strategic framework. Entitled Our Path Forward and introduced in 2016, this framework has served us well, describing who we are, where we focus, and how we move forward as a university. It outlines our University’s common purpose and provides guideposts to help with strategic decision making.
Reflecting the bold ambitions of our students, faculty and staff as well as the incredible social, scientific and technological changes underway in society, we recognized early in the process that we needed to go deeper. Guided by the insights, ambitious goals and dreams that members of the U of G community shared with us during extensive consultations, the refresh grew into more extensive visioning and planning.
This is an exciting time for the University of Guelph. The strategic plan that we are now developing will help to shape the future of our great institution and its impact on the world. Please explore the links below to learn more about what we are doing and how you can contribute.
A strategic plan lays out an organization’s vision for its future and charts its course forward, including through clearly articulated values, goals and objectives. Our strategic plan will build upon the strengths and lessons learned from our previous framework. It will be more directional in nature than the framework, emphasizing alignment, goals, actions and measurement. The strategic plan will be frequently refreshed, supported by processes that ensure flexibility and agility to respond to change, positioning the University to seize new opportunities and address new challenges as they arise.
Our Path Forward was intended to guide the University for five to ten years. In 2021, five years after the framework was approved, we accelerated the process of reviewing the framework and determining if it continued to meet the University’s needs. This was particularly important due to the significant changes the University had experienced, new challenges and opportunities we faced as a result of the pandemic as well as the incredible social, scientific and technological changes underway in society.
Between February and May 2021, we completed 14 digital consultation sessions with students, staff, faculty, alumni and community partners. These conversations involved individuals from our Guelph, Guelph-Humber and Ridgetown campuses. The sessions were lively and engaging as we considered the future of U of G.
Common themes from the consultations included:
- Global impact and internationalization
- Indigenization, equity, diversity and inclusion
- Environmental sustainability
- Student experience and services
- Experiential education
- Interdisciplinary programming
- Fostering our sense of community and wellness
- Financial sustainability
- Local, national and international collaboration
During these consultations, we also clearly heard our community’s desire for more substantive changes and additions to the existing strategic framework. Our community expressed the need for a bold, action-oriented plan that would include measurable targets and allow us to clearly track our progress toward goals.
Work began in 2021 with the formation of a Strategic Advisory Committee and an extensive initial round of community consultations. After delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiative is picking up again in spring 2022. The new strategic plan will be launched in November of this year.
Guided by the work of the Strategic Advisory Committee and feedback from the first round of community consultations, we have created draft themes and goals. We began additional targeted consultations in April to test and modify these themes and goals, and are scheduling open consultations for students, staff and faculty to provide feedback in May.
We want your help and ideas to shape the University’s future. In May, we will hold open consultations for students, staff and faculty. We want to hear your feedback on the themes our community has identified. Watch your uoguelph.ca email account for details on the upcoming consultations. You can also provide feedback on the first draft of the Plan through a survey. Stay tuned for the link to this survey!
The feedback received in the first round of consultations shaped the draft themes and goals that we have now. Your feedback will help to validate, refine and add to those items that will appear in the strategic plan in November.