Developing a New Strategic Plan

Learn More at a Town Hall on February 22


—From the desk of President Maggie Matear

As many of you know, our current strategic plan, Building Remarkable Futures 2019–2024, is winding down, and it’s time to embark on our next planning process. There have been tremendous changes in our sector over the last five years.

The pandemic accelerated several developments—such as online and hybrid learning—but we’ve also seen growing demand for shorter, more flexible credentials; integrated workforce training; rapid learning technology advances; shifts in government funding; greater diversity, Indigenization and internationalization; and of course, the rise of artificial intelligence. This is a really exciting opportunity for us—we can point to significant progress made on our previous strategic plan, and start to dream about how we want to see ourselves in the future.

I’m pleased to share that Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA) was the successful bidder on our request for proposals to support our strategic plan. You may be aware of HESA’s principal, Alex Usher. He writes a respected national newsletter on post-secondary education and consults for colleges and universities across Canada. The HESA team will work with a Steering Committee made up of members of the Board of Governors, the education and college services divisions, the three employee unions, the student union, the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion committee and Indigenous Programming and Engagement. More than 20 in-person sessions are planned, both internally and externally. There will also be an online survey for those unable to attend an in-person session.

We decided to work with an external consultant for several reasons. First, an outside consultant brings an objective viewpoint. They have no preconceived notions, so they can assess our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats impartially. Second, strategic planning is a time-intensive process, and requires external research and analysis so we can make evidence-based decisions. Working with a team that specializes in strategic planning for the education sector can expedite the process. Finally, having an external facilitator may encourage more candid feedback from some stakeholder and rights-holder groups.

We’ve set up a web page that will feature information about the process, including steering committee membership, key milestones and background information. We hope to complete most of the consultations by mid-May, develop a draft plan over the summer and submit it to the board for approval at the end of 2024. We’d then be ready to start 2025 with a brand-new plan.

Please join me at a town hall on Thursday, February 22 to learn more, and keep an eye on the weekly newsletters for further updates and information on how to get involved. I hope to see you at a consultation session coming soon!