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Charting the course

Memorial embarks on pan-university strategic planning process

Campus and Community

The development of a new strategic plan for Memorial University is now underway.

At a special meeting held on June 11, the Board of Regents approved a proposal for the creation of a new strategic plan. It was also endorsed by Senate on June 9.

‘Aspirational’ vision

Dr. Vianne Timmons, president and vice-chancellor, says this is an exciting time for the university.

“As we chart the course for the future of Memorial University, this is an opportunity to engage and empower all members of our community to build an aspirational, shared vision that reflects the diversity and complexity of Memorial,” said Dr. Timmons.

The 2021-26 strategic plan will create an aspirational plan for future decision-making and will be developed through a highly participatory and accessible process, rooted in wide and deep consultation across all of our campuses and communities.

“Crucially, we are seeking the participation of diverse peoples and perspectives to bring forward a wide range of experience, perspectives and ideas.” — Dr. Ian Sutherland

Dr. Ian Sutherland, dean of the School of Music, and Emily Wooley, manager of Human Resources strategy, policy and planning, will lead the process through five stages.

Graphic outlining the five stages of planning: pre-planning, team selection, consultation, draft plan, approval
This highly consultative approach to strategic planning is meant to give everyone a voice.

The project is now nearing the end of the pre-planning stage.

The next priorities include developing a request for proposals for an external consultant and preparing for an open call for individuals interested in participating in the internal facilitation team.

‘Wide and deep consultation’

Dr. Sutherland says that process of developing Memorial’s next strategic plan is key to its success.

“We’re really focused on enabling wide and deep consultation with faculty, staff, students and the wider community that forms Memorial University,” he explained.

“We want to develop excitement, connection and ownership with everyone that participates in this strategic planning process. Crucially, we are seeking the participation of diverse peoples and perspectives to bring forward a wide range of experience, perspectives and ideas.”

Ms. Wooley agrees, while also acknowledging the uniqueness associated with achieving this goal during the COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health measures.

“The current environment will provide an opportunity to leverage creative ways to engage individuals,” Ms. Wooley said. “We have already seen how adaptive and innovative the university has been to this new remote landscape. We are excited to use our creativity to engage with people during this time and provide a sense of connection when many need it.”

A strategic planning website has been developed and includes information on the principles and goals, strategic planning process, tentative timeline and more. It will continue to be updated as the project unfolds.

To ensure openness and transparency, members of the university community can expect regular updates and broad consultation throughout the planning process.

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