Carleton University’s new five-year Strategic Integrated Plan (SIP) – Sustainable Communities – Global Prosperity – has been officially launched.
“We’re in the implementation mode,” says Katherine Graham, senior advisor to the Provost, who oversaw the development process of the plan, along with the 15-member Strategic Integrated Planning Task Force.
“Now we’re really in the process of moving the SIP into the Carleton planning cycle and thinking about how we are going to do what we said we’re going to do.”
The new plan was developed through a wide-ranging consultation process that was both internal and external in nature. Internally, more than 40 consultation meetings were held with academic and professional services units, as well as student organizations. In addition, individuals from across campus made submissions, there were two town halls, and another four meetings that focused specifically on research.
Externally, the task force met with private-sector leaders, major granting councils, community leaders and Carleton alumni.
The SIP builds on the previous strategic plan, Defining Dreams, and incorporates the academic strategic plan, as well as providing the basis for the strategic research plan, says Graham.
“Academics are at the core of (the SIP) because academics, including research, are at the core of what we do. But the intention is to really try and work together to undertake the priority initiatives that are identified in the SIP,” explains Graham.
“As we get further into the weeds, there will be specific components that are done in the faculties or done on the professional services side or on the student services side. It is intended to be implemented as an integrated document.”
The university’s Senate and the Board of Governors approved the SIP at the end of June, formally moving the process from planning to implementation.
The plan outlines a vision statement and the university’s values and strengths. Building on those two areas there are four key themes:
1) Carleton University will be known nationally and internationally for its research and teaching in programs which respond to the needs of society today and which anticipate the needs of the future;
2) Carleton University will be as a university that promotes research excellence and connectedness. It will be recognized as a leader in research that focuses both on tangible outcomes and the development of knowledge with longer-term impacts;
3) Carleton University will be known nationally and internationally known for being student centred, linking its academic endeavours and student supports to empower students as productive and engaged citizens in an increasingly diverse world; and
4) Carleton will be known as a university that nurtures leadership, encourages innovation, recognizes achievement and embraces sustainability.
Within each of the themes there are strategic actions, goals and key performance measures listed.
But Graham says while there are specifics in the document, it’s not “prescriptive.”
“For example in the SIP we have a goal of five new academic programs over the life of the SIP. We’re saying five new programs as part of the next five years but not specifics about what those will be,” she says.
“So, it provides the community with a signal that, yes, we do want to do new program development, but it’s not prescriptive in terms of what. It enables people to start to think from the ground up.”
Over the life of the SIP, the idea is to build on Carleton’s strong reputation and grow that through excellence across the organization, both academically and in terms of professional services. And the successes will be measured along the way, Graham says.
“We do see there will be tangible achievements that will enhance Carleton’s attractiveness to students at all levels and also our broader reputation. You’re always working to do high-quality things but we will have achieved recognition for the quality of what we do.”