Dr. Ted Hewitt, February 27, 2017

President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Dr. Hewitt was the first speaker in the Strategic Planning consultation process for Laurentian University’s new Strategic Plan.

Bonnie Patterson, March 21, 2017

Talk by Professor Bonnie Patterson on Strategic Mandate Agreements

All Ontario colleges and universities are currently negotiating an individual 2017-2020 Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA) with the Province. Professor Bonnie Patterson, former President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities and former President and Vice-Chancellor of Trent University, is negotiating SMAs on behalf of the Province with each Ontario university (except Trent) and with Georgian College. Brian Tamblyn, former President of Georgian College, is negotiating SMAs with each Ontario college (except Georgian) and with Trent University. Both Bonnie Patterson and Brian Tamblyn serve as Special Advisors to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

Professor Bonnie Patterson had kindly agreed to deliver a talk on Tuesday, March 21st at 7 pm in the Governors’ Lounge on the 11th floor of the Parker Building to explain what are Strategic Mandate Agreements, their implications for universities, and what strategic questions the university community should be asking itself as it develops its 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. Her talk was followed by questions, after which Dr. Linda Ambrose, Special Advisor for Strategic Planning, facilitated a discussion among attendees reflecting on what they heard from Professor Patterson.

Dr. Janet Morrison, April 3, 2017

Beyond the Classroom: Engagement and the Student Experience

Dr. Janet Morrison is Provost and Vice President, Academic at Sheridan College. Prior to her appointment in 2016, Dr. Morrison spent 17 years at York University working in various roles focused on learning, discovery and engagement, most recently, serving as Vice-Provost, Students. Before joining York, she held leadership positions in student affairs and taught at the University of Guelph, Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio and George Brown College. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in history and education.

Having worked in the post-secondary sector for over twenty-five years, Janet remains passionate about student success and community engagement. She served as a staff representative on York’s Board of Governors and in 2010 was awarded York University’s President’s Leadership Award. An active volunteer, Janet is the former Chair of the Board of Trustees at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and has previously chaired the Board of Directors for the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto.

Niigaan Sinclair, May 10, 2017

Reconciling the University: Calling to Action Post Secondary Spaces

In 2015 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released 94 recommendations to help Canadians and Indigenous peoples move towards reconciliation. The TRC specifically made post-secondary education a focus by including – among other things – calls to action for “adequate funding” (#11), “culturally appropriate programming” (#12), “Indigenous language programs (#16), culturally-competent “medical and health training” (#24), and “appropriate curriculum” and support for teachers and researchers (#65). How do we make universities an active participant in reconciliation? Is this possible? Come for a frank, honest, and task-driven discussion on how we can reconcile universities.

Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair is Anishinaabe (St. Peter’s/Little Peguis) and an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba. He is an award-winning writer, editor and activist who was named one of Monocle Magazine’s “Canada’s Top 20 Most Influential People” and one of the CBC Manitoba’s “Top Forty Under Forty.” He is a regular commentator on Indigenous issues on CTV, CBC, and APTN, and his written work can be found in the pages of newspapers like The Guardian and online with CBC Books: Canada Writes. His first book on Anishinaabeg literary traditions will be coming out with the University of Minnesota Press in 2017.

Alex Usher, June 14, 2017

Global Trends in Postsecondary Education, Research and Innovation

Alex Usher, President of Higher Education Strategy Associates.

Converge 2017 Highlights

Big questions about Canada’s future, our challenges and opportunities, were tackled head-on by bold thinkers — including 100 youth leaders from across the country — at Converge 2017, Feb. 6-7, 2017. Reconciliation, innovation and inclusion were significant themes as participants explored what Canada can, and should, become by 2067.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada

Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire

Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company

Imagine 2023: Discussion

“Such a beautiful campus!” That is usually the first comment a visitor makes when they arrive at Laurentian University. This place is a dream for outdoor living enthusiasts, with 765 acres surrounded by five lakes, a golf course, a supervised beach, trees and trails galore. There are blueberries ripe for the picking in late summer and a system of seemingly endless snowshoe and ski trails in winter. Thanks to recent investments in campus modernization, Laurentian now boasts more state-of-the-art classroom and lab facilities and a variety of welcoming and modern student residence spaces. Last August, we even became the first Canadian postsecondary institution to host a federal Cabinet retreat.

Laurentian University, in Sudbury, is situated on the traditional territory of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation in Northeastern Ontario. We currently serve over 9,500 students. The Sudbury Basin, where our campus is located, is one of the world’s biggest mineral deposits and it is no surprise that this is an internationally recognized centre of mining and mineral exploration expertise. The Franco-Ontarian flag which flies proudly in so many communities across Ontario, was created here, and serves as a reminder that this university has long been an important centre of francophone culture and education. With a teepee in the centre of our Founders’ Square and an Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre at our new front door, Laurentian is a “home away from home” for the 11% of its student population that voluntarily self-identifies as First Nation, Métis or Inuit.

Our 2012-2017 Strategic Plan was endorsed in an October 2012 Globe and Mail editorial as “an excellent strategy”. Through this concise document, the Board of Governors and Senate replaced the University’s previous mission and vision statements with the following “Purpose” statement:

Laurentian University, with its federated university partners, offers an outstanding university experience, in English and French with a comprehensive approach to Indigenous education, that prepares students as agents of change by stimulating them to ask new questions, to challenge what we know, and so empower them to create innovative solutions for future local and global issues.

The university community also affirmed its core values. We value students first. We value excellence and academic freedom. We value our 57,000 alumni. We celebrate diversity and value integrity and inclusiveness. We are particularly inspired by two of the Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers from the Anishinaabe people. Mnaadendmiwin means that all of creation should be treated with respect. Debdewin means to speak the truth.

The 2012-2017 Strategic Plan articulated five key goals (student satisfaction, national recognition, university of choice, community responsiveness, organizational excellence), seven aspirations and 40 outcomes to be achieved by 2017. It also identified 14 undergraduate and five graduate “signature programs” and nine areas of research excellence.

The positive impacts of the implementation of this “bold, ambitious and driven” strategic plan are noticeable. A September 2016 local editorial summarized it well:

Certainly one of the world’s top mining schools, Laurentian seems on track to become one of Canada’s premier institutions of research and higher learning as well. And, in its success, Laurentian is helping put Greater Sudbury on the map as a destination for education in this country — and that is excellent for the city and its economy. As we said, the past five years alone have seen amazing developments at the school. Not discounting the many strides forward LU has made in its 56 years, the narrow window of 2011 to 2016 has been nothing short of impressive. (…) Laurentian University is helping export the North’s talents to the world while drawing major investments to the university itself. It’s an institution of which the city can, and should, be proud. Hats off.

By December 2017 the Board of Governors and Senate expect a 24-member Steering Committee composed of student, faculty, staff, administrators, Governors, alumni and community and industry leaders to develop a focused 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. It will be four pages in length with no more than five key goals or aspirations and no more than 25 desired outcomes.

Many of our graduates at the Spring 2017 Convocation were in Junior Kindergarten in 2000. Today’s Junior Kindergarten students will enrol at Laurentian in September 2030. This is our opportunity to reflect on Laurentian’s journey since the beginning of the millennium, to dream about what Laurentian could be, and to identify the milestones that should be achieved by 2023.


A New Millennium

On January 1, 2000 the world survived “Y2K” and was beginning a new millennium. The world’s population had more than doubled since Laurentian’s creation in 1960, from 3.0 billion to 6.1 billion people. The University, characterized in a Sudbury Star 1960 editorial as “the greatest experiment ever undertaken in Canadian higher education,” was celebrating its 40th anniversary. US President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Premier Mike Harris and Sudbury Mayor Jim Gordon were in office. Ontario’s 12 new French-language school boards were in their third year of existence.

Fast forward to 2017. The world’s population has risen from 6.1 billion to 7.5 billion. US President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Mayor of the amalgamated city of Greater Sudbury, Brian Bigger, are in office.

Our national reputation has grown. Laurentian now ranks among Canada’s top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, up from #18 in 2009. Laurentian was ranked in 2016 as #1 in growth in sponsored research income among Canada’s primarily undergraduate universities. The Globe and Mail wrote that “Laurentian has buzz” and Maclean’s wrote that Laurentian is one of three Canadian universities “on the radar”.

Ontario high school graduates now enrol at university one year earlier, after completing grade 12, since the elimination of the Ontario Academic Credit (OAC or grade 13) in 2003. We are the most popular choice for university studies in Northeastern Ontario. Half of our student population now comes from outside the region. We have achieved record levels of enrolment, while increasing the average entry grade from 79.2% in 2008 to 82.4% today. Since 2008, we have nearly doubled the number of students admitted with an average entry grade exceeding 85%, while the number of students admitted with an average entry grade below 85% has declined. Among Ontario universities, we have the highest proportion of students whose parents did not complete higher education, the second highest proportion of Francophone students, the second highest proportion of Indigenous students, and the third highest proportion of part-time students.

Laurentian graduates find meaningful employment. Our graduates have the highest post-graduation employment rates and the second highest post-graduation average earnings among Ontario universities.

Our students value their interactions with faculty and staff. There have been lots of personnel changes since 2000: 65% of our current full-time faculty (or 249 of 382 professors) were not yet at Laurentian in 2000. Of our current 430 full-time staff, 300 (or 69%) are new since 2000. Ontario legislated the end to mandatory retirement, which took effect in 2006. Laurentian now has 42 faculty and 7 staff aged 65 or above.

Innovative developments to our academic structures and programs since 2000 just keep coming. Laurentian opened the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in partnership with Lakehead University. The Faculty of Professional Schools was replaced with new Faculties of Management, Health and Education. The Faculties of Social Sciences and Humanities were combined into the Faculty of Arts. The Centre for Academic Excellence and the Goodman School of Mines were established. Senate approved new Schools in Architecture, Education, Environment, and Northern and Community Studies. New academic departments were created in Accounting, Finance and Operations, Forensic Science, Marketing and Management, and Music. Laurentian became the first Canadian university to secure international accreditations from EPAS (for undergraduate management programs) and from the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

The University’s 2015-2018 Academic Plan approved by Senate emphasizes the importance of: improving student retention; developing French language and Indigenous programming consistent with the University’s unique Purpose; expanding graduate programs; and expanding the role and use of technology in degree program delivery.

Exciting changes have happened to the campus itself. If we compared aerial photos of the campus from the year 2000 until now, the difference is striking. A new Campus Master Plan was approved in 2013, replacing the last one approved in 1992. The University built several new facilities: the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, the West Residence, an addition to the Classroom Building, the Education Building, an expansion of the Ben Avery Building, the Vale Living with Lakes Centre, the East Residence, the McEwen School of Architecture, the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research Lab, and the Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre. The University completely renovated the Classroom Building and Great Hall (both originally built in 1964), modernized several other classrooms and labs, expanded food offerings and created an Executive Learning Centre and a University Club. At the time of writing, campus modernization is ongoing. A new Northern Water Sports Centre was also built by the community on Ramsey Lake Road close to campus.

Government funding now represents less than half of our revenues, which explains why Ontario universities describe themselves as “provincially assisted” as opposed to “publicly funded.” Northern provincial grants to universities have not increased since 2004, French-language provincial grants have not increased since 2007, while per-student provincial funding at Laurentian has not increased since 2009.

In 2013, we completed The Next 50 Campaign, Northern Ontario’s most successful fundraising campaign raising over $65 million. Generous philanthropists invested in Laurentian. Since 2011, the Bharti, Goodman, McEwen and Harquail families have each made eight-figure transformational gifts to the University. The University has proudly named the Bharti School of Engineering, the Goodman School of Mines, the McEwen School of Architecture and the Harquail School of Earth Sciences to honour these generous families.

University-based research has gained in prominence since 2000. Laurentian appointed its first Vice-President, Research in 2009. Federal expenditures on science and technology in higher education have increased annually by an average of 13% between 2000 and 2007, followed by annual average increases of 1% from 2007 to 2016. Indirect costs of research are significantly higher than funding rates recognized by the federal government. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) were created.

Since 2000, the federal government created 2,000 Canada Research Chairs including 10 at Laurentian in: Applied Evolutionary Ecology; Environment, Culture and Values; Environmental Microbiology; Genomics and Bioinformatics; Indigenous Health; Metallogeny; Multicultural Sport and Physical Activity; Particle Astrophysics; Polymer Nanomaterials; and Stressed Aquatic Systems.

Annual funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) doubled nationally since 2000 reaching close to $1.1 billion. Laurentian’s annual NSERC funding tripled during that period reaching $5.2 million. In addition, it secured in 2016 a seven-year $49 million federal investment under the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF), matched by $55 million from 22 partners, with the aim to bring Laurentian from #1 in Canada in economic geology to #1 in the world. We continue to rank #1 in Ontario and among Canada’s top 5 universities in NSERC funding related to mining and mineral processing research.

Annual funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) tripled nationally since 2000, Laurentian’s annual SSHRC funding saw a fivefold increase exceeding $650,000.

Several new research centres at Laurentian were approved by the University Senate since 2000, some were closed. In its 2012-2017 Strategic Research Plan, Senate endorsed five strategic research themes: environment and conservation; health and wellness; social and cultural research and creativity; engineering, mineral and materials sciences; subatomic physics – SNOLAB. In 2016, the University launched Laurentian Mining Innovation and Technology (LMIT) to coordinate and promote the work of its four mining-related research centres.

Laurentian appointed in 2010 its first Chancellor, Aline Chrétien. Her successor, appointed in 2013, is Steve Paikin, host of The Agenda with Steve Paikin on TVO. Laurentian also appointed in 2016 its first Assistant Vice-President, Equity, Diversity and Human Rights.

In 2009, Laurentian appointed its first Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Programs. The number of full-time Indigenous faculty members at Laurentian increased from about a half dozen to 25, including its first Indigenous Canada Research Chair. In 2016, the University created the Maamwizing Indigenous Research Institute. Starting this fall, new Bachelor of Arts students will have to complete at least six credits from a list of 100 courses reflecting Indigenous perspectives.

Nationally, the Association des universités de la francophonie canadienne (AUFC) has been replaced by the Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne (ACUFC) with 21 member institutions. ACUFC includes a Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS) created in 2003 and funded by the federal government. Laurentian is a proud member of both ACUFC and CNFS. Provincially, Ontario now has an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly serving as French-Language Services Commissioner. TFO is now an independent French-language broadcaster. Collège des Grands Lacs in Toronto closed. Locally, Laurentian University became the first bilingual university designated under Ontario’s French Language Services Act. The renovated Alphonse-Raymond building, which now houses a wide-range of French-language programs, offers new modern gathering spaces. A Research Chair in Franco-Ontarian History was appointed in 2016.

The number of local hospitals in Greater Sudbury has decreased from three to one. The City now has an academic health science center, Health Sciences North (HSN), affiliated to the University.  Laurentian works closely with the new Health Sciences North Research Institute and this presents new opportunities for research collaboration on a variety of initiatives to improve population health for all Northerners.

In 2001 Laurentian began to offer courses in Barrie, but in February 2016 the Board of Governors made the decision to no longer resource the delivery of Arts and Business programs in Barrie as of 2017 in light of government restrictions deemed unacceptable. The Social Work program will continue to operate there until 2019.

Universities Canada, previously known as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), now has 97 member institutions. Our President and Vice-Chancellor, Dominic Giroux, will serve as its Chair from October 2017 to October 2019. Canada has managed sustained growth in international students. In 2014, international students represented 11.1% of total university enrolment in Canada. It is estimated that in 2015 there were 1.3 million Canadians registered in online courses.

Laurentian University Statistics

Statistic Name200020172018
Enrolment (headcount):5,6889,0448,840 [1]
Enrolment (FTE):4,2776,8966,758 [1]
Sudbury Campus enrolment (FTE):4,2756,0425,899 [1]
Online enrolment (FTE):N/A632682 [1]
Barrie Campus enrolment (FTE):N/A4516 [1]
Enrolment for other programs (FTE):2177162 [1]
Undergraduate enrolment (FTE):4,0516,2906,085 [1]
Average entry grade:79.2% (2008F)82.5%82.6% [2]
Master’s enrolment (FTE):226468532 [1]
PhD enrolment (FTE):N/A137140 [1]
Enrolment in English-language programs (FTE):3,4075,7555,570 [1]
Enrolment in French-language programs (FTE):8691,1411,187 [1]
International enrolment (FTE):42 (1%)484 (7%)370 (5%) [1]
Number of countries represented in student population:316165 [1]
Top 5 countries of Laurentian international students:France, United States, Botswana, Germany, KenyaSaudi Arabia, China, Nigeria, India, FranceChina, Nigeria, India, Saudi Arabia, Ivory Coast [1]
Ranking in Maclean’s:#17 out of 21 (primarily undergraduate universities)#11 out of 19 primarily undergraduate universities#11 out of 19 primarily undergraduate universities [3]
National ranking in total sponsored research income:#35 (2003)#28#27 [4]
National ranking in research income per full-time faculty:#43 (2003)#31#25 [4]
National ranking in number of publications per full-time faculty:#36 (2003)#44#42 [4]
National ranking in publication impact:N/A#43#46 [4]
Annual revenues:$76,399,000$181,762,000
Provincial grants:$36,999,000 (48% of revenues)$69,895,000 (38% of revenues)
Undergraduate domestic tuition (first year Arts and Science):$3,951$6,473$6,667 (2018-19)
# of full-time faculty:300382
# of full-time staff:318430

[1] Enrolment data 2018 = 2018F
[2] 2018 = Maclean’s 2019 Ranking (released in Fall 2018)
[3] 2018 = Ranked 11th for the 2019 Ranking released in fall of 2018
[4] Research Infosource

What’s Ahead

Global realities frame our local experience. The United Nations projects that the world’s population will rise from 7.5 billion in 2017 to 8.5 billion by 2030. The population of India is expected to surpass that of China by 2022.

Population trends closer to home will also impact Laurentian. The Ontario Ministry of Finance projects that the overall 20-24 year old population will decline by 9% from 2016 to 2023. At the same time the 25-44 year old population in Ontario will increase by 10%. Half of our students currently come from Northeastern Ontario where the 20-24 year old population will decline 24% by 2026 and the 25-44 year old population in the region will be stable. New university campuses are expected to open in Markham, Brampton and Milton. The Province is considering the creation of a French-language university in Toronto. On the other hand, First Nations are the fastest growing youth demographic in the country.

According to the Education Advisory Board (EAB), postsecondary education in Canada is facing a challenging decade ahead because:

  • There will be downward pressure on revenues: provincial funding is not likely to grow in the face of rising health care costs and debt; enrolment growth is slowing in most regions due to demographic shifts; provinces exercise a strict control of tuition fee increases.
  • There will be upward pressure on costs: compensation increases driven by salary increases, additional staff, and rising benefits costs; the research enterprise requires increasing institutional subsidies; and information technology investments are required to support the student experience, and teaching, research and administration.
  • There are concerns about quality and value: some employers claim there is a “skills gap” or lack of professional skills among university graduates; some parents and students question the value of a university education; there is a national debate about the declining quality of undergraduate education; and increased discussions around outcomes-based provincial funding models.
  • There is intensifying competition for students: colleges and polytechnics competing with universities; more aggressive recruitment efforts from institutions in regions with declining demographics; Northeastern University is entering the Greater Toronto Area market for masters and professional education.

In short, expectations for performance will rise as funding fails to keep up. As tuition will continue to increase, students will expect more either through greater career focus, higher service expectations or guaranteed success. Most of the jobs our future students will have do not exist yet.

This Spring Laurentian will negotiate with the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development a second Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA) for 2017-2020, building on the agreements initiated in 2014. Like every other college and university in Ontario, Laurentian and the Province will mutually agree on a number of institutional and system-wide performance metrics and targets in five areas: the student experience; innovation in teaching and learning excellence; access and equity; research excellence and impact; innovation, economic development and community engagement. Our SMA will also outline pre-approved funded enrolment, international enrolment strategy and collaboration activities, a maximum of 10 programs areas of strength and up to five program areas for growth, financial sustainability metrics, institutional collaborations and partnerships, and mutual commitments. Institutional performance will impact provincial funding in the third round of SMAs in 2020-2023 for Laurentian and the other Ontario colleges and universities.

Ontario Premier’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel released recommendations in June 2016, in particular with regards to the need for stronger partnerships between educators and employers and expanded opportunities for learning by experience  Ontario universities are expected to implement a Net Tuition Billing system starting in the 2018-2019 school year. Students will know the total amount of government and institutional support they are eligible for when they apply for post-secondary education. Students will be billed only for the remaining amount.

A provincial election will be held in June 2018.

Construction is underway at Laurentian University: the 60,000 sq ft Cliff Fielding Research, Innovation and Engineering Building, located between the Fraser and Parker buildings, will be completed in Spring 2018. It will include the Norinne E. Perdue Collaborative Research and Development Centre enabling researchers across the University’s seven Faculties to collaborate, share equipment and expertise. The Jim Fielding Innovation and Commercialization Space will help emerging start-ups by bridging the existing hap between laboratory and market. To do so, the University will leverage its partnership with the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology Inc. (NORCAT), Sudbury’s Regional Innovation Centre thus avoiding duplication of expertise in the region. The new building will also house additional state-of-the-art labs for the award-winning Bharti School of Engineering. The capital costs are fully funded.

In June 2019, master’s degrees will be awarded to the charter class of our McEwen School of Architecture, a $45-million complex officially opened in January 2017 in downtown Sudbury.

A new 20,000 sq ft Student Centre, funded by a referendum held by the Students’ General Association (SGA), is expected to be completed in Fall 2019. The new building will be located next to the new Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre and the West Residence.

In the community, HSN is advocating for additional facilities for NEO Kids, Northeastern Ontario’s hub for specialized children’s care. Plans are underway for a new Place des Arts in downtown Sudbury across the street from our new McEwen School of Architecture, which will serve as a gathering place for Francophones and for the whole community, bringing together seven cultural organizations under one roof. Laurentian was among the sponsors for the feasibility study for the Place des Arts.

This is the context that frames our strategic planning exercise. We invite you to join us as we imagine, connect and share.


Questions to Guide Us as we Imagine 2023

Join us as we reflect on the following questions:


  • Dominic Barton, Chair of the Government of Canada’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth, says “If you can build something, build something of global scale. Don’t play in the backyard.” What could Laurentian build of global scale? If we were to identify areas where we want to be “the best” at “something that matters,” what would come to mind? What could Laurentian be the first to do and which could be difficult to imitate elsewhere? How could we further differentiate ourselves from other universities?
  • Three time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedman says “The three largest forces on the planet – technology, globalization, and climate change – are all accelerating at once. As a result, so many aspects of our societies, workplaces, and geopolitics are being re-shaped and need to be reimagined.” How can Laurentian faculty, staff and students contribute to such “reshaping” and “reimagining”? How can we position ourselves to keep pace with, and even lead, the technological changes that will be realized in the coming years?
  • What possibilities exist for collaboration, or what Michael Crow from Arizona State University calls “intellectual fusion,” as we make connections across disciplines and with community and industry partners?
  • How could we help strengthen Northern Ontario and better meet community needs and aspirations?
  • How could Laurentian be a significant champion for French-language postsecondary education and for the sustainable development of Franco-Ontarian communities?
  • Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire, says “Reconciliation is not just a noun. It is also a verb.” How could Laurentian be a trailblazer in the response to the Calls for Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?
  • What will university-based research look like in 2023? How could we stimulate more social and scientific innovation, and accelerate commercialization opportunities? How can we position ourselves to be more prominent leaders of innovation and creativity?



  • How could we better prepare students and the communities we serve for the accelerated change in our society? What ambitions do we have for our students’ learning? How could we become an institution better known for its students’ successes?
  • What could student life look like in 2023? His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston says “100% of our students should get an international experience, because we need to be global citizens.” Is this something we would like to make a priority? Many of our graduates benefit from work-integrated learning opportunities through their journey at Laurentian. Do we want to expand such opportunities, and if so, how could we do this?
  • Our purpose is to prepare students as agents of change. How could we expand and develop the leadership talent pool for Northern Ontario, Francophone and Indigenous communities? How could be better engage our 57,000 alumni?
  • How can we close the gap in the university participation rates between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous population in Ontario?
  • Do we have enough capacity to serve more international students? Are we ready to serve them well? Is the campus “culture ready”? How can we facilitate international students’ adjustment to Canada’s cultures?
  • How can we foster healthy, respectful and productive relationships between members of the university community, inspired by the Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers from the Anishinaabe people (honesty, truth, humility, love, wisdom, courage, respect)? What would this look like for faculty, staff and students? The accelerated pace of change can seem overwhelming. What should Laurentian do to ensure that we face that change from a position of stability, embracing our successes, but reinforcing our foundations?



  • What are our current or emerging programs of strength? What are our established or emerging areas of research excellence? How could we build on Laurentian’s current strengths?
  • A few external observers have said in the past year that Laurentian finds itself in “a new league.” What could this mean for us in the future?
  • How can we continue to build our reputation nationally and internationally?
  • What should be our five key goals or aspirations until 2023?


Next Steps

  • Take part in consultations unfolding until May 30th in Sudbury and in other parts of Northeastern Ontario.
  • Join us for one of eight electronic brainstorming sessions on March 27-29th on the Sudbury campus.
  • Email us your thoughts at strategicplan@laurentian.ca
  • Take part in the validation process of our draft 2018-2023 Strategic Plan between September 25th and October 20th.
  • Encourage others to do the same.

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.