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Our Time: University of Guelph Strategic Plan 2022-27

Our lives are made up of moments - those instances when we make decisions that change the course of everything that comes after.

This is one of those moments.

This is when we choose, as the University of Guelph, what our future looks like, and we make it happen together.

This is when we recognize the opportunity in front of us to build an institution like no other.

This is when we challenge ourselves to be better.

This is when we dream big and do bigger.

This is our time. 

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Charlotte Yates, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guelph
" The moment you set foot on a University of Guelph campus, you know you have found something special. As a community, we understand the uniqueness of our University that draws the curious, the ingenious and the inspirational to our institution. This is the time to harness that uniqueness – the genius of U of G – and recognize our full potential to change the world for the better. "

Charlotte Yates
President and Vice-Chancellor
Read the President's full message

Nancy Brown Andison, Chair, Board of Governors of the University of Guelph
" Our Time: The University of Guelph’s Strategic Plan (2022-27) is owned by each and every one of us. It was shaped by student, staff, faculty and partner voices from across and beyond the University. As we bring this plan to life, each member of our community has a role in its success. "

Nancy Brown Andison
Chair, Board of Governors
Read the Chair's full message


Land Acknowledgement

We offer our respect and gratitude to Indigenous peoples and the lands and waters that sustain us.

The University of Guelph's campuses and research stations reside on the ancestral, traditional, unceded and treaty lands and territories of the Anishinaabeg, Hodinohso:ni, Lūnaapéewak, Huron-Wendat and Attawandaron peoples. These lands are now inhabited by a rich diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.

We recognize that our educational and research activities also occur on Indigenous lands across Canada and globally.

Through this land acknowledgment, we uphold our commitments to seeking truth and advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and affirm our responsibility to realize these commitments through our ongoing actions.

Our Mission

The University of Guelph is a research-intensive, learner-centred university. Its core value is the pursuit of truth. Its aim is to serve society and to enhance the quality of life through scholarship. Both in its research and in its teaching programs, the University is committed to a global perspective.

Read the University of Guelph’s mission statement

Our Vision

The University of Guelph will Improve Life through the power of our rigorous scholarship, unparalleled creativity, and solution-oriented discovery.

We will empower students, faculty and staff to think critically and lead change by engaging globally and locally to put bold ideas into action – all while remaining steadfast to our values and in pursuit of a vibrant future.

Our Values

The University of Guelph is a distinctive community in which to learn, teach, discover and work. At the heart of U of G are core values that guide our decisions, actions and relationships and allow us to achieve our vision.

  • Community and collaboration: we achieve more when we work together.
  • Courage: we make difficult choices and principled decisions.
  • Creativity: we believe imagination and innovation must know no bounds.
  • Excellence: we strive to be the best and our ambition is unlimited.
  • Inclusion: we value all and strive for inclusive excellence.
  • Integrity: we are honest, trustworthy, transparent and accountable.

Plant Wall, University of Guelph Humber

 Plant Wall, University of Guelph-Humber

Deepening our impact on the world

 University of Guelph Arboretum

We will accelerate and expand the global, national and local impact of our work. We will achieve this through research and teaching excellence, the strength and breadth of our connections and the successes of our graduates.


Propel our global and national recognition by elevating our brand and reputation as a leading comprehensive university with distinctive recognition for our established leadership in Food and Agriculture, One Health, and Sustainability and our emerging leadership in Engineering and Business as a “Force for Good”.

Amplify our impact by growing our powerful connections and partnerships with premier research institutions and scientists, industry and governments, and our committed alumni.

Be a destination of choice for students and experts from around the world through active recruitment and building a globalized culture on our campuses that creates a diverse and rich environment for learning and discovery.

Be recognized as a leader in community engaged scholarship through pride of partnership with local, regional, provincial and Indigenous organizations, businesses and communities.

Transforming our University through Indigenization and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

 Bachelor of Indigenous Environmental Science and Practice, Eramosa River

We will foster inclusive excellence within and across communities, founded on the principles of reconciliation and diversity. Collaborating with Indigenous communities, the University of Guelph is committed to advancing truth and reconciliation. The Indigenization of higher education and the fostering of equitable learning and work environments empower us in our pursuit of student, faculty and staff success, research excellence, innovation and impact.


Transform our human resources, governance and student services systems and practices across the University to enable us to recruit a diverse student, faculty and staff body and support them in achieving their personal, professional and scholarly goals.

Create conditions for equitable student success through scholarships, mentorships, supports, access pathways into academic programs, and by embracing the potential of the digital world.

Lead Canada in participation of faculty and students from under-represented groups in STEM fields.

Advancing U of G’s distinctive student experience that fuels success and future impact

 Chemistry Lab, MacNaughton Building

Students are at the heart of everything we do at U of G. Students come here because of the distinctive living and learning experiences offered by the University. Building on our deep commitment to the whole student and our promise to Improve Life, we commit to investing in an exceptional student experience, inside and outside of the classroom, thus preparing students for success in all facets of their education and life as well as their role as global citizens.


Propel student success by guaranteeing every student an experiential learning opportunity and flexible pathways for studying in and across disciplines.

Design and deliver supports and services to ensure that international students thrive and have a sense of belonging within the U of G community.

Be recognized as a leader in providing mental health services and supports for our students and their support networks.

Building a sustainable tomorrow

 Planting Lang Forest, Lambton Hall

The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize the interconnectedness between poverty, food insecurity, the climate crisis and advancing health, well-being and equity.

The University of Guelph’s quest to Improve Life, as well as our significant footprint within the City of Guelph and across the province of Ontario, places a special responsibility on our institution to advance the 17 SDGs. We will lead the way in building vibrant sustainable communities through our signature research, partnerships, the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, teaching and student engagement.


Transform our campuses into living labs as we work towards net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Be a global leader in sustainable agri-food systems, developing and promoting solutions and preparing the next generation of thought leaders.

Align our resource allocation, planning and financial investments with the United Nation’s SDGs by 2030.

Supporting faculty and staff success

 OVC Health Sciences Centre

Our ability to achieve this ambitious plan relies on the ingenuity and hard work of dedicated, skilled and well-supported faculty and staff. Together, we will be a workplace of choice by fostering a fulfilling and rewarding environment for faculty and staff to work independently and collaboratively in advancing our collective goals in this plan to Improve Life.


Recruit and retain exceptionally talented faculty and staff who share and work toward our vision and values.

Enable faculty and staff to develop their talents and fulfil their professional goals through learning, development and inter-professional growth opportunities.

Recognize and celebrate the big and small achievements of our faculty and staff.

Leveraging Financial and Digital Capacity

 Study Space, University Centre

To achieve the ambitious vision, strategic priorities and goals outlined in this Strategic Plan, it is imperative that the University has the resources required to take bold action. The future that we are creating is only possible if it is built on a solid and sustainable foundation.


Restore financial health to the University by 2026 through diversified and enhanced revenue streams, disciplined decision-making and diligent cost management.

Implement a budget allocation model that accelerates the achievement of strategic priorities and goals, including financial sustainability.

Drive innovation and institutional creativity and sustainability by advancing technological and digital solutions.

How We Got Here

2021-2022 | Formulate

  • Strategic Advisory Committee
  • 14 consultation sessions (Spring 2021)
  • 20+ consultation sessions (Spring 2022)
  • 600+ digital survey responses

2022-2023 | Commit

  • Approved by Senate and Board of Governors (Oct 2022)
  • Shared with University Leadership Team (Nov 2022)
  • Executive Team develops objectives and measurements
  • Community launch (2023)

2023-2027 | Implement

  • Executive teams reviews progress on a regular basis
  • Faculty and staff engaged in identifying continuous improvement opportunities
  • Regular review of external opportunities and threats

Our History

The University of Guelph has a proud history spanning nearly 150 years. Learn more about our evolution by exploring below.

1862 ~ Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) opens in Toronto

1874 ~ Ontario opens agricultural school in Guelph

1880 ~ Agricultural school officially renamed Ontario Agricultural College

1903 ~ Macdonald Institute opens on campus as home economics school

1922 ~ OVC moves to campus

1964 ~ OVC, OAC and Macdonald Institute united to form University of Guelph. Wellington College created, focusing on arts and sciences

1969 ~ Wellington College divided into College of Arts, College of Physical Science and College of Social Science. Macdonald Institute becomes the College of Family and Consumer Studies

1971 ~ College of Biological Science established

1989 ~ College of Physical and Engineering Science established

1995 ~ University mission statement approved by Senate

1995 ~ Final report of Strategic Planning Commission

1997 ~ Ridgetown regional campus established

1998 ~ Colleges of Social Science and Family and Consumer Studies amalgamated into College of Social and Applied Human Sciences

2002 ~ University of Guelph-Humber founded in partnership with Humber College, integrates experiential learning opportunities into traditional academic curriculum

2006 ~ College of Management and Economics established (Named the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics in 2019)

2016 ~ Approval of U of G Strategic Framework: Our Path Forward

2020 ~ Launch of University’s Anti-Racism Action Plan

2021 ~ Launch of Bi-Naagwad, U of G’s Indigenous Initiatives Strategy

2021 ~ Launch of President's Advisory Committee on Anti-Racism

2022 ~ Creation of Policy Statement on Anti-Racism

2022 ~ Approval of Our Time: The University of Guelph’s Strategic Plan 2022-27

2023 ~ Launch of President’s Task Force on Student Mental Health

Where Do We Go From Here?

Women's soccer team at the Gryphon Soccer Complex

The University of Guelph’s strategic plan gives us a clear set of directions for the next five years. So, now what?

The strategic priorities in this plan and the goals that support them will be built into all levels of the institution. Our initiatives from now until 2027 will be shaped to meet these goals. University leaders will help their units determine where they can have the most impact and set targets for success.

The University will report on progress toward the goals on a regular basis, sharing information on the strategic plan website and through other channels.

Over the lifespan of this plan, our community will find these priorities and goals woven through everything the University does. Together, we will achieve our vision by living our values and pursuing our five strategic priorities.

Through this shared commitment, we will shape a bold new future for the University of Guelph.

This Is Our Time.

 Photo: Women's soccer, Gryphon Soccer Complex

University of Guelph Ridgetown campus

 University of Guelph, Ridgetown campus