Friends, I am delighted to report that we are launching the next phase of the UBC’s Next Century strategic planning process with a series of public open houses starting next week (see below for details).
As you know, the plan is designed to provide an effective framework to guide and implement UBC’s key priorities, goals and actions over the next 25 years and to transform an outstanding institution from excellence to eminence.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, the UBC’s Next Century strategic planning process started with a web-based survey that elicited more than 1,000 responses from members of the UBC community. Several key themes were identified from the results, and with guidance from a steering committee – comprised of UBC faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members – we have distilled those themes into eight strategic priorities:
As a public research university located in the diverse province of British Columbia, Canada, and as North America’s most international university, we are ideally positioned to embrace internationalization as an ethos. This strategic priority would foster learning and scholarship that equips people to live and work in diverse local, regional and global communities while engaging with the complexities of international relations.
2. Working Across Disciplines
The big challenges society faces today do not come neatly packaged in disciplinary categories. This strategic priority would foster trans-disciplinary learning opportunities, interdisciplinary scholarship and knowledge mobilization, while identifying and addressing institutional barriers to inter-disciplinarity.
3. Creativity, Innovation and Risk Taking
UBC is already recognized by its peers as a university that is willing to be creative, to take risks and to innovate. This strategic priority would foster and reward innovation, creativity and risk-taking among students, faculty and staff while supporting collaboration with external partners.
4. Engagement and Reciprocity
The strategic priority emphasizes connections and relationships between UBC’s work and the communities and societies in which we live. This strategic priority would foster engaged research, learning opportunities and knowledge exchange.
5. Our Community and Wellbeing
Cultivating physical and mental wellbeing amongst our students, faculty, staff and community is crucial to our success as a university. This strategic priority focuses on building strong and inclusive communities on our campuses and beyond, and on institutional initiatives that support our people to achieve their full potential.
Our 2009 Strategic plan, Place and Promise, committed all aspects of the University—its infrastructure, research, teaching and learning elements—to exploring and exemplifying social, economic and environmental sustainability. In our initial survey, you told us that you are proud of what we have achieved in respect to sustainability, and that you would like UBC to continue to pursue this strategic priority.
The Aboriginal Strategic Plan adopted as part of Place and Promise reflected UBC’s commitment to Aboriginal education, respect for Aboriginal knowledge and cultures, and resolution to build upon the strengths of the university to more fully address the needs of Aboriginal and Indigenous communities in British Columbia, Canada, and the world. In our initial survey, you told us that our commitment to these principles differentiates UBC from other major research universities, and that we should build on these principles, especially in light of the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
UBC’s success depends upon being an inclusive and welcoming place for all people. This strategic priority promotes inclusivity of all people regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression, racial and ethnic background, family status, ability, or national origin. It focuses attention on intercultural dialogue and diversity in scholarship, learning and institutional activities.
These eight strategic priorities are important to our four core institutional activities:
- Teaching and learning
- Research and scholarship
- Knowledge mobilization
- Institutional activities
During March and April 2017, we are inviting you to provide your perspective on strategic priorities and core activities. This will be facilitated through a series of open house events (noted below) as well as a detailed online survey.
Monday, March 20
4:00 – 6:00pm
Fipke Centre Foyer
Thursday, March 30
12:00pm – 2:00pm
Fipke Centre Foyer
UBC Point Grey
Thursday, March 23
11:00am – 2:00pm
Great Hall (The Nest)
Tuesday, March 28
12:00pm – 2:00pm
Jack Poole Hall (Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre)
UBC Robson Square
Monday, March 27
6:00 – 8:00pm
William A. Webber Medical Student & Alumni Centre
Wednesday, March 29
12:00 – 2:00 pm
I hope you can join us at one of these events, but if you’re not able to participate in person, there will be additional opportunities to share your ideas. You’ll soon receive a survey about the draft strategic priorities, core commitments and challenges and we hope you’ll respond to that. You can find out more information about ways to participate – and the strategic plan in general – at https://president.ubc.ca/strategic-initiatives.
Together we can transform an already outstanding institution from excellence to eminence. I encourage you to take part in the shaping of UBC’s future. Let’s develop a vision and plan that will set the foundation for UBC’s next century.
Professor Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor