Office of the President

Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor

President's Goals and Objectives 2013-14

1.  Context: SFU's Strategic Vision

SFU’s Strategic Vision launched in 2012 continues to provide 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 Healthy 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 continue to demonstrate progress in meeting the objective, goals and principles set out in the Strategic Vision and, by doing so, to further build the university’s sense of purpose and reputation.  The ultimate goal of this endeavour over time is to fulfil the Vision’s ambition of establishing SFU as “the leading engaged university” – as an exemplar to which others look for leadership and inspiration.  As I have noted previously, realizing this ambition will not come easily or quickly.  It will require collective and persistent institutional efforts over a number of years to build strength, demonstrate results, gain reputation and attract believers.  Given this, I am heartened by the extent to which the Vision has already been embraced within SFU, has begun to produce positive results, and is gaining recognition for the university locally, nationally and internationally.

Some of the goals I plan to pursue as part of this process are set out below.  However my ambition throughout remains to realize the overall objective and goals of the Vision; to build the university’s strengths and achievements in relation to these; to gain recognition for these strengths and achievements; and to seek support from governments and others to enable the university to make further headway in all of these ways.

3.  Specific Goals

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

  • Continue implementation of the five-year Academic Plan, including the measures it proposes to enhance the quality of education, improve student support, promote research excellence, and contribute to community engagement.  Some of my particular priorities in this regard are:

• Improving course access for undergraduate students with the goal of providing students who are prepared to commit to an academic program in their second year with a pathway to complete that program within four years (subject to co-op and other program requirements).

• Making significant progress in the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities accreditation process.

• Completing a review of online education and an associated plan to set priorities and guide our future development in this important area.

  • Continue implementation of the Strategic Research Plan, including efforts to enhance research funding, expand our role in national research initiatives, broaden our international research relationships, and support research mobilization.  A high priority in this regard will be to recruit a new Vice President Research to oversee and support our continued development and growing reputation as a leading Canadian research university.
  • Produce a balanced budget that seeks to protect program quality, maintain research support, and ensure access for qualified students in the face of funding cuts and other fiscal challenges that confront us in the coming year.
  • Complete academic, capital and budget plans for a staged expansion of SFU Surrey while continuing concerted efforts to secure government fnding for this expansion.
  •  Seek government and other support for the implementation of other components of SFU’s capital plan, with particular emphasis on the need for increased support to maintain and upgrade existing facilities on the Burnaby Campus.
  • Launch our 50th Anniversary Campaign and demonstrate significant progress toward meeting our goal of raising $250 million by the end of our Anniversary year.
  • Work with student groups to improve the quality of student life, including continued efforts to help the Simon Fraser Student Society advance their proposal to create a new student union building.
  • Continue to broaden my engagement with faculty, students and staff.
  • Support efforts to modify our staff pension plan with the goal of ensuring that that the plan is financially sustainable and can continue to meet the needs of our staff employees.
  • Prepare for the next round of contract talks with SFU employees in the spring of 2014 with the goal of reaching fair and affordable contract settlements.
  • Initiate a review of the faculty salary structure to ensure that it is consistent with the university’s gender equity commitments.
  • Continue efforts to develop and implement SFU’s integrated planning framework, with particular emphasis on demonstrating progress in the implementation of our new strategic plans relating to community engagement, international relations, government relations, sustainability, and information technology.
  • Continue efforts to implement our recently revised Aboriginal Strategic Plan, including efforts to increase the numbers of Aboriginal students, faculty and staff, and to enhance Aboriginal services and facilities.
  • Complete development and commence implementation of a communications and marketing plan aimed at enhancing SFU’s capacity to communicate its vision, strengths and achievements in a clear and co-ordinated manner that helps the university to build its reputation and garner support locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Work with the Alumni Association to continue implementation of the Alumni strategic plan and support a broad range of Alumni engagement activities.
  • Begin planning and preparations for SFU’s 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2015-16.
  • Plan and participate in a multitude of ceremonies and special events.