Bridge to 2020 – Strategic Update

Monday, January 8, 2018


As our current Strategic Plan enters its final year, I am pleased to announce that the University of Waterloo is launching a process to develop a new plan for the period of 2020-2025.

Over the next 12 months we will examine our achievements on the current plan, develop transition strategies to ensure that we stay on course with our achievements so far and begin to prepare for the new plan. Two foundational stages of the development process will be taking place. These stages are:

  • Evidence Gathering
    • This is a reflective, self-study stage geared toward identifying and providing evidence about strategic issues facing the University (Fall 2017 – Summer 2018)
  • Consultations
    • This stage will be a broad and robust opportunity to engage with the University community (May/June 2018 – December 2018).

With respect to the evidence-gathering phase, the Deans have worked together with executive leadership to identify vital areas for exploration such as: undergraduate learning; graduate studies; student environment; research excellence and crossing disciplines and institutional boundaries; internationalization; empowering people through advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, indigenization and organizational development; and finding new ways of leveraging our resources.  

Six advisory groups have been formed composed of students, faculty, and staff. These groups will provide vital guidance on the development of corresponding issue papers that will explore current thinking, evidence and strategic opportunities.  

I want to thank the issue paper members in advance for their valuable leadership during this process. I look forward to learning how each of these issue papers will inform the development of our Strategic Plan.

In the coming months we will keep you informed on the progress of our evidence gathering phase and further preparations in the lead up to the consultation. We are also preparing a dedicated internal website, Bridge to 2020, which will be used to provide details on our progress in developing the new strategic plan.

Starting in May/June of 2018 we will invite you to participate in a series of consultations where we will evaluate the collected evidence and begin to develop our goals and priorities. We are looking forward to this exciting, broad campus initiative and encourage you to continue to stay informed about this essential work.

I appreciate your time and dedication during the planning of the University of Waterloo’s future. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or Daniela Seskar-Hencic, Director, Strategic Planning and Evaluation, who will be facilitating the development of the next Strategic Plan.

Thank you.


Feridun Hamdullahpur

President and Vice-Chancellor