The strategic planning process began in the fall of 2016 and came to an end in December 2017. The scope and principles, endorsed by Laurentian University’s Senate and approved by the Board of Governors, were established to guide the development of the plan. The appointed, twenty-four-member Steering Committee worked to define Laurentian’s purpose, values, key goals  and anticipated outcomes for 2018-2023, building on unique strengths and opportunities.

Throughout the entire process, community members were invited to Imagine, Connect and Share.

Approved Scope of the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan will be

  • No more than four pages long
  • Centred on:
    1. what differentiates us from other universities including the delivery of programs and services in both English and French;
    2. what Laurentian could be the first to do;
    3. what will build on Laurentian’s current strengths, including our commitment to institutional bilingualism at all levels and our comprehensive approach to Indigenous education
  • Used as a framework (Purpose, Values, Key Goals/Aspirations and Outcomes/Results) for guiding performance goal-setting and budget decisions by the Board of Governors
  • For the period 2018-2023
  • Purpose-driven, relevant and bold
  • Ambitious and achievable
  • Explicit about what we will do and what we will not do
  • Include content, unique opportunities or themes which members of the university community can get behind
  • Aligned with no more than five Key Goals/Aspirations, which may or may not be the same as in the 2012-2017 Strategic Plan
  • Measurable over time
  • A reflection of no more than 25 Outcomes/Results to be achieved by 2023 aligned with the chosen Goals/Aspirations
  • A reflection of up to 10 programs representing established or emerging areas of strength as requested by the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development for the purposes of the Strategic Mandate Agreement, taking into consideration advice provided by the Academic Planning Committee of Senate in January 2015 that a more precise set of criteria be used
  • A reflection of no more than nine areas of established or emerging research excellence
  • Responsive to opportunities from the broader context
  • Focused on what will be retained and what will be different in six years compared to now, for example with regards to student life in and out of the classroom and how the University will prepare students and communities for accelerated change in society
  • A living document that will be reviewed in 2020 to coincide with the negotiation of the 2020-2023 Strategic Mandate Agreement
  • Fostering collaboration, encouraging inter-departmental and multi-stakeholder discussions


The Strategic Plan will not be

  • A composite of everything we already do at Laurentian
  • Status quo
  • A list of every participant’s hopes and ideas An implementation plan A constraint to Senate’s academic decision-making, for example with regards to programs
  • Crisis-driven
  • An exercise detached from decisions over the period from 2012-2017
  • Relevant to a few and irrelevant to many
  • An indication that programs not identified as established or emerging areas of strength should not be promoted or are in jeopardy of discontinuation
  • Shelved
  • Perpetuating silos

Approved Principles

1. The Strategic Plan will focus on what will be Laurentian’s Purpose, Values, Key Goals/Aspirations and Results for 2018-2023, building on our unique strengths and opportunities:Why does Laurentian University exist?

  • What do we do now that is core to Laurentian University?
  • What could we do that is different and is difficult to imitate elsewhere?
  • What do we need to put into place to build on our strengths?
  • What does it mean that Laurentian finds itself in “a new league”?

2. The Strategic Plan will contain measurable outcomes so that progress can be monitored over the period 2018-2023.

3. The Strategic Plan will be focused while engaging everyone in discussions about our strategic directions for 2018-2023.

4. The Strategic Plan will be realistic in terms of ambition, recognizing the need for sustainability in terms of faculty and staff’s ability to fulfil implementation expectations, as well as in light of current and forecasted resource levels.

5. The Strategic Plan process should enable the university community to reflect on how in the coming years it can be a significant champion for French-language postsecondary education and for the sustainable development of Franco-Ontarian communities, as well as a trailblazer in the response to the Calls for Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

6. As much as possible, we will use existing structures and committee meetings to inform the Strategic Plan and ensure that the voices of all Faculties, federated and affiliated universities, and college partners are heard in the process.

7. The Strategic Plan will be informed by updates which may be made in 2017 by Senate to the 2015-2018 Academic Plan and to the 2012-2017 Strategic Research Plan, as applicable. In turn, the Strategic Plan may inform further updates by Senate to the Academic Plan and to the Strategic Research Plan.

8. The Strategic Plan will be informed by developments from the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Developments with regards to university funding formula and the negotiation of Strategic Mandate Agreements.

Steering Committee: Approved Terms of Reference

The creation of 2018-2023 Strategic Plan Steering Committee is proposed. The purpose of the Steering Committee would be to ensure that:

  • A 2018-2023 Strategic Plan is recommended for approval by December 2017;
  • The recommended Strategic Plan is consistent with the Scope approved by the Board of Governors in December 2016;
  • The development of the Strategic Plan is consistent with the Principles and Process approved by the Board of Governors in December 2016.

The Steering Committee is expected to meet six times between February and November. These meetings could include opportunities to receive submissions by interested parties. The use of subcommittees is not recommended. Consideration will be given on how to create opportunities for emerging leaders on campus to be engaged in the process and observe the Steering Committee in action.

Steering Committee: Approved Composition

Appointments to the 24-member Steering Committee would be delegated to the Nominating Committee of the Board of Governors. The President and Vice-Chancellor would seek volunteers from the university community. The names of volunteers would be brought forward to the Nominating Committee of the Board in January for consideration, taking into account the complementary of the skill set, gender and linguistic balance, as well as Indigenous representation.

  • Dominic Giroux, President and Vice-Chancellor (Chair of the Steering Committee)
  • 3 members of the Board of Governors
  • 5 faculty members nominated by Senate (at least one teaching a majority of courses in English, at least one teaching a majority of courses in French and at least one Canada Research Chair)
  • 5 students nominated by Senate (at least one taking a majority of courses in English, at least one taking a majority of courses in French, and at least one graduate student)
  • 1 Dean
  • 3 members from either the Executive Team, the Administrative Leadership Group or the Academic Management Team
  • 1 staff
  • 1 individual nominated by the Laurentian University Native Education Council (LUNEC)
  • 2 community members and/or alumni
  • 1 external member with expertise in postsecondary education trends, change management or organizational strategy
  • Dr. Linda Ambrose, Special Advisor to the President (supporting the Steering Committee)

Contribute to the plan

Locally, nationally, and internationally we hope you will share your story as you #Imagine2023. Help us show how and where the Laurentian impact is felt.