An Updated University-Wide Academic Plan

Dear members of the University community / Boozhoo / Aanii / Kwe kwe,

In the past two years, our total sponsored research income per full-time faculty member has gone up by 45%.  After a drop of 1,010 undergraduate students on the Sudbury campus between 2006 and 2008, we have achieved an overall record-level of enrolment of 9,246 full-time and part-time students in 2010, while increasing the average entry grade in 2009 and again in 2010.  International enrolment went up by 53%.  Our retention rate is improving.  We continue to have among the best post-graduation employment rates in the province.  Laurentian is the Canadian university which had the biggest jump in this year’s university rankings published by Maclean’s.  The magazine identified Laurentian as one of three Canadian universities “on the radar”.

To be even more successful as a university, we need to continue building a positive organizational climate which fosters strong faculty and staff engagement. But we also need sound planning which reinforces our internal focus and alignment.

In May 2010, the Provost challenged the Faculties/Library to develop their own Academic Plans to advance the university’s four key goals while being informed by four “purpose” statements where the University was seen to be academically strong (building healthy communities, clean water now and forever, resource development for an evolving world, educating for our future).

I am pleased to report that Faculties/Library have completed this important task. Now that these Faculty/Library-based Academic Plans are in place, they will provide the Deans/University Librarian with guidance regarding the future academic activity, budgets, student supports and learning needs within each Faculty/Library.

The next step was for ACAPLAN to develop a university-wide Academic Plan for presentation to Senate at the February 8th meeting.  I am pleased that for the first time in 10 years, Senate approved an update to the university’s Academic Plan.  This document was developed at ACAPLAN, taking into account the content of the Academic Plans from the Faculties/Library with input from the Comité des programmes en français (CPF).  Both ACAPLAN and CPF had endorsed the proposed Academic Plan.

Several broad academic priorities have emerged: Support for French-language programs and the bilingual mandate of Laurentian University, Aboriginal programming, Interdisciplinarity and Academic Excellence.

The university’s four-page Academic Plan will inform the 2011-2012 operating budget as well as the 2012-2017 strategic plan.

Finally, I would like to thank the 100 students, faculty and staff members who attended the town-hall meeting in the Governors’ Lounge on January 19th.  In my next blog posting, I will address the most common questions I have received in the past few weeks related to the 2011-2012 operating budget.

As usual, I welcome comments and questions on the topics discussed in my blog postings, or any other matter that may be of concern to you. My email is:

You can also join the 1,500 people who follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Merci/Thank you/Miigwech


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