Office of the President

Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor

President's Goals and Objectives 2012-13

1.      Context:  SFU’s Strategic Vision

SFU’s Strategic Vision adopted last year provides the context for my goals, objectives and competencies for the coming year.  The Vision seeks to establish SFU as “the leading engaged university defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research, and far-reaching community engagement.”  In pursuit of this objective, the Vision identifies three main goals:

  1. Engaging Students: To equip SFU students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences that prepare them for life in an ever-changing and challenging world;
  2. Engaging Research: To be a world leader in knowledge mobilization building on a strong foundation of fundamental research;
  3. Engaging Communities: To be Canada’s most community-engaged research university.

The Vision notes that “[t]he success of [these] goals depends not just on their individual attainment but on their integration – on the degree to which each contributes to the others.”     

The Vision also commits SFU to the following underlying principles: Academic and Intellectual Freedom; Diversity; Internationalization; Respect for Aboriginal Peoples and Cultures; A Supportive and Health Work Environment; and Sustainability.

2.      Moving Forward:  Putting the Strategic Vision to Work

The major focus of my work in the coming year will be to help SFU make progress in achieving the objective, goals and principles set out in the Strategic Vision, while building the institution’s morale and public standing.  The long-term purpose of this endeavour is to establish SFU as the best university of its kind.  In last year’s statement, I noted that this will involve a major institutional effort that draws upon the Strategic Vision to build strength, demonstrate results, gain reputation and attract believers.  Such a process, as Jim Collins has noted, is likely to be arduous and protracted requiring ongoing dedication and energy. [1]

Specific goals that I will pursue as part of this process are set out below. However my overall mission throughout will be to use every available opportunity to deliver on the broad objective and general goals set out in the Vision; to demonstrate the university’s strengths and achievements in relation to this objective and goals; to gain recognition for SFU and build its reputation based on those strengths and achievements; and to seek support from governments and others to enable the university to make further progress in realizing the Vision’s objective and goals.

3.      Specific Goals

The following represent some of my major specific goals for the coming year.  It should be noted, however, that my role in relation to these will often be to provide leadership and support with respect to plans and activities that are directed and carried out by others:

  • Finalizing and commencing implementation of the new five-year Academic Plan, including implementation of the activities it provides to enhance the quality of education, to improve support for students, to promote research excellence, and to contribute to community engagement activity;
  • Continuing implementation of the Strategic Research Plan, including efforts to expand federal and provincial research funding, to assume a  leadership role in national research initiatives, to build international research relationships, and to support research mobilization;
  • Utilizing SFU’s strategic approach to budgeting to maintain a balanced budget while seeking to protect institutional quality and provide access for qualified students in the face of major fiscal challenges confronting us in the coming year;

  • Managing labour relations to support constructive negotiations and encourage fair, affordable settlements for all employee groups;  
  • Maintaining progress in attaining Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities’ accreditation, including creating a process to facilitate development and assessment of learning outcomes;
  • Supporting implementation of SFU’s capital plan, including seeking additional resources to cover the costs of maintaining and upgrading existing facilities;
  • Advancing academic, capital and budget planning in support of continuing concerted efforts to secure government funding for a major expansion of SFU Surrey;
  • Completing a review of SFU Vancouver’s space requirements to inform a decision as to whether to seek additional leased space at Harbour Centre;
  • Completing strategic and institutional plans to guide and support SFU’s government relations, international, and marketing and communications activities;
  • Strengthening SFU’s community engagement capacities, including completion of a community engagement strategy and implementation of SFU Public Square as a signature community engagement initiative; 
  • Pursuing fundraising activities to support the university, including completing preparatory work for the launch of a 50th Anniversary Campaign;
  • Working with the Alumni Association to support implementation of a new Alumni strategic plan, including a broad range of Alumni engagement activities; 
  • Continuing efforts to improve the quality of student life, including efforts to improve the quality of food services, to increase support for student athletics, and to assist the Simon Fraser Student Society with their proposal to create a new student union building;
  • Continuing efforts to promote international and interdisciplinary engagement, including building academic and research relationships with international partners and launching a multidisciplinary series of colloquia;
  • Continuing implementation of the Aboriginal Strategic Plan, including efforts to increase the numbers of Aboriginal students, faculty and staff, and to enhance Aboriginal services and facilities;
  • Completing an institutional strategy to guide and promote SFU’s sustainability commitments;
  • Further extending efforts to engage with faculty, students and staff;
  • Planning and participating in a multitude of ceremonies and special events.







[1] Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors (Boulder, Colo., private publication, 2005)