Western’s Board of Governors approved the university’s new strategic plan, Achieving Excellence on the World Stage, at its regular meeting Thursday. Approved by the university Senate on Jan. 24, the new plan was informed by hundreds of written and oral submissions from faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners.
“Western is determined to raise its profile among globally pre-eminent universities,” said Amit Chakma, Western president. “By raising our national reputation and international profile, we will be able to recruit and retain the world’s brightest students, faculty and staff; enhance the value of a Western degree for current and future graduates; and enable our scholars and researchers, students and faculty alike, to grapple with the important questions of our time and seek solutions to our world’s problems.”
“On behalf of the Board of Governors and Senate, we wish to thank and congratulate the Senate Committee on University Planning for leading this strategic plan renewal process, and we wish to thank the hundreds of campus community members and stakeholders who shaped the plan by sharing their ideas and suggestions,” said Janice Deakin, Western’s provost and vice-president (academic).
Highlights of the plan include:
Western creates, disseminates and applies knowledge for the benefit of society through excellence in teaching, research and scholarship. Our graduates will be global citizens whose education and leadership will serve the public good.
Western will be a destination of choice for the world’s brightest minds seeking the best learning experience at a leading Canadian research university.
Four strategic priorities
- Raising Our Expectations: Create a world-class research and scholarship culture;
- Leading in Learning: Provide Canada’s best education for tomorrow’s global leaders;
- Reaching Beyond Campus: Engage alumni, community, institutional and international partners ; and
- Taking Charge of Our Destiny: Generate and invest new resources in support of excellence
Key high-level targets and corresponding metrics
- Attract the brightest students as demonstrated through the highest entering grade average and the highest number of students with external awards among Canada’s leading research-intensive universities;
- Achieve the highest student retention and graduation rates among Canada’s leading research-intensive universities;
- Enhance the learning experience by providing a community-based experiential learning opportunity, an international learning opportunity or a research learning opportunity for all undergraduates who wish to pursue one as part of their degree;
- Increase international undergraduate student enrolment to at least 15 per cent and domestic out-of-province student enrolment to at least 10 per cent of the undergraduate student body;
- Increase graduate student enrolment to at least 20 per cent of the total student body;
- Increase diversity among faculty and staff, including the recruitment and retention of designated employee groups (including women, visible minorities, aboriginal persons and persons with disabilities) to lead or exceed the U-15 averages for representation;
- Add 100 research chairs, including 50 endowed chairs, in areas of strength;
- Increase our national share of funding awarded from each of the Federal Tri-Councils;
- Increase the number of faculty members who have won national and international teaching/research awards and similar distinctions;
- Double the number of academic Departments, Schools and Faculties that rank among the world’s top 100 universities in major international surveys;
- Increase the share of the operating budget from non-Provincial sources by 1 per cent per year;
- Surpass our $750-million Be Extraordinary fundraising campaign goal and grow the university’s endowment to at least $500 million by 2018;
- Build institutional capacity to sustain fundraising beyond the current campaign, with an eventual goal of increasing annual fundraising achievements to $100-million; and
- Double alumni engagement, as measured through a range of activities that will include alumni card requests, participation in programs and events, address updates, giving to the institution, and voluntarism, etc.