Waterloo at 100 Newsletter 01

Thursday, June 9, 2022

What we’re hearing

With consultations underway for the Waterloo at 100 visioning exercise, we want to thank you and share a few insights we’ve heard from the University community. As we listen to people sharing their thoughts about the vision for a bold future for this institution, we remain inspired by the question at the core of these consultations:

What do we, as an institution, aspire to become by our 100th anniversary in 2057?

Employees and students have shared ideas about how Waterloo can make significant impacts on five Futures: societal, technological, sustainable, health and economic. We have also received valuable input on how we can evolve by building on our areas of strength coupled with the differentiators that set us apart.

Here are some of the insights we’ve heard:

  • As the University of Waterloo continues to evolve, we can be inspired by the innovative spirit that guided our founders in 1957. We started as a small, unconventional university in 1957 and we are now a large, globally renowned institution in which deeper and more effective collaboration is required to meet the complex challenges of the future.
  • Our five Futures are interconnected. We must foster interdisciplinarity in teaching and research as scholars from across the arts, humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, engineering, mathematics and professional disciplines imagine solutions together.
  • One of our founding differentiators — co-operative education— should evolve to ensure Waterloo continues to be at the forefront of experiential education globally. Work and society will continue to undergo rapid changes in the coming years which will open up new opportunities and require innovative approaches to work-integrated learning.
  • We were founded by local business leaders, setting us up to be an institution that looks beyond its borders to solve real-world challenges. Our distinctive research environment is enriched by the institution’s long tradition of co-operative education and deep industry partnerships in the region and globally. This network encourages us to constantly develop research that is outward-facing.
  • Fundamental, unconstrained research at Waterloo will continue to build the foundation for transformational and unimaginable discoveries in the decades ahead.
  • We have to continue to work to ensure our campuses are sustainable and meet and exceed our goals set in the Shift: Neutral plan.
  • Our programs, policies and procedures should be a model for a decolonized institution. 

As we continue to meet with internal and external stakeholders this month and beyond, we encourage you to share the Waterloo at 100 webpage with your colleagues and networks where they can engage with the visioning exercise through a feedback form.

Thank you again for sharing your ideas as we prepare Waterloo to lead with a renewed sense of hope and bold ambitions for the future.