Developing our new Strategic Plan

Hagey Hall Hub exterior

April 6, 2021 update from Sheila Ager, Dean

I'd like to provide this update on the Faculty’s strategic planning process — which we referred to previously as the 2020-25 Strategic Plan but given its final timeframe is yet to be determined (i.e., five or seven years), we’ll refer to it as our new Strategic Plan.

What has happened since the Task Force consultations and survey?

During the fall term, the strategic planning Task Force reviewed the feedback they received via their consultation meetings and online survey conducted over the summer and early fall – many thanks to the members of the Task Force (named in the righthand column) for all their hard work! To summarize that first phase: 36 consultation meetings were held virtually with every department in Arts and other stakeholder groups such as Co-op, the Library, and alumni; and more than 400 online survey responses were submitted. On November 30, 2021, the task force delivered their report and recommendations to my office. Feel free to read the Faculty of Arts Strategic Plan Stakeholder Consultation Report (PDF)  We realize that the main formal consultation phase is over, but we’re providing a feedback webform for members of our community to offer any additional comments and ideas, both during the current phase (see below), and later when we distribute a draft of the plan.  

On March 5, I held a day-long meeting with the associate deans and several staff from my office with facilitation from a member of the university’s Organizational and Human Development to carefully consider the Task Force report and formulate our next steps based on its findings and recommendations.

Current phase:  Working groups

With working group membership suggestions from department chairs and staff supervisors, I am currently assembling four strategic planning working groups, each to focus on a thematic pillar, or “area of change” as we have come to call them: 1. Faculty Identity; 2. Governance and Organizational Change; 3. Student Experience and Success; 4. Connection, Community and Collaboration through Interdisciplinarity. Each working group will be co-chaired by an Associate Dean and a staff or faculty representative, and will include faculty, staff, and student members. Once the working groups are fully populated, we will inform the Faculty of their membership.

The working groups will define the specific goals and implementation objectives of their area of change, along with outcome measurements. This work will form the basis of our final plan. We expect the working group phase to run from this April until October 2021, and throughout that phase I will have regular update meetings with the working group co-chairs.

How and when will the new Strategic Plan be finalized?

It is our aim to have the four working group reports finalized by mid-fall; they will be shared with the whole Faculty for any feedback. In late 2021/early 2022, my office will be responsible for compiling the proposed Strategic Plan document from those reports and feedback. We will share the proposed final plan with the whole Faculty for comments and any further feedback. The proposed plan will be presented for approval at the March 2022 Arts Faculty Council meeting.


October 5, 2020 update from the task force

In the Fall 2019 term, Sheila Ager, Dean of Arts, appointed a task force made up of faculty and staff representatives to lead the Faculty of Arts strategic planning process. This process for the Arts Strategic Plan 2020-2025 follows the recent release of the University of Waterloo Strategic Plan 2020-2025 and will articulate our vision and goals within this larger University-wide framework.

We are now, from June to September 2020, in the consultation phase and eager to receive your input! Over the consultation period, we will be meeting by videoconference with groups of alumni, students, staff, faculty, and community stakeholders to discuss your vision for the Arts Faculty. We have also developed a consultation survey through which you can join the discussion about the future of the Faculty. We want to hear your diverse perspectives on essential issues such as teaching, research, co-op, diversity, equity, indigenization, public outreach, organizational structure, internationalization, and community. Please add your essential voice to the conversation!

Recent months have brought serious economic and social challenges to the global community, tied to the severe impacts of Covid-19. They have also witnessed a global re-examination of systemic inequality, racism, and prejudice following the tragic death of George Floyd in the United States. We recognize these tragedies and challenges, as well as the need for honest and open self-examination, in the belief that out of adversity and challenges arise meaningful opportunities for change and positive innovation.

You are always welcome to reach out to any member of the task force with your ideas, comments, or questions.

(Updated October 5, 2020)

Arts strategic planning working groups

Four working groups will be announced within the month of April 2021.


Arts strategic planning task force members