Office of the President

Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor

President's Goals and Objectives 2014-15

1. Context: SFU’s Strategic Vision

My goals and objectives for 2014-15 continue to be informed by SFU’s Strategic Vision.  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 focus of my work will be to make additional 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 realize the Vision’s ambition of establishing SFU as “the leading engaged university” – as a model to which others look for leadership and inspiration.  As I have acknowledged from the outset, realizing this ambition will not come quickly or easily.  It requires collective and persistent institutional efforts over many years to build strength, demonstrate results, gain reputation and attract believers.  Given this, I am heartened by the progress we have made to date, and by the extent to which the Vision has already begun to produce positive results and to gain recognition for the university locally, nationally and internationally.

Some of the specific goals I have set for the coming year are set out below.  However, my general ambition throughout will remain focused on achieving the Vision’s overall objective and  goals; building the university’s strengths and achievements in relation to these; gaining recognition for our efforts; and seeking support from governments and others to allow us to make further progress.

3. Specific Goals

The following represent some of my 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 implemented by others:

  • Continue implementation of the five-year Academic Plan.  Priorities include:  further improving course access for undergraduate students; creating educational goals for academic programs; expanding co-op and other experiential learning opportunities; developing a flexible learning strategy; improving English language support for EAL learners; and making substantial progress toward accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
  • Pursue enhanced research funding, broaden research relationships, and encourage research mobilization.  Priorities include: developing a university-wide innovation strategy; encouraging expansion and recognition of community-based research; and laying the groundwork for a new 5‑year strategic research plan. 
  • Produce a balanced budget that protects program quality, maintains research support, and ensures access for qualified students.  To this end, continue to pursue efficiencies to ensure SFU’s administrative expenditures remain well below the Canadian average.
  • Advance SFU’s capital plan.  Priorities include: obtaining provincial planning approval for the staged expansion of SFU’s Surrey campus; securing funding for the maintenance, upgrade and replacement of existing facilities on the Burnaby Campus; and pursuing strategies to construct self-funded student residences and athletic facilities
  • Assist the Province on implementation of BC’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint while developing an associated strategy to ensure SFU meets its training targets for high demand occupations, improves the quality of labour market data used in curriculum development and planning, and increases support for students transitioning into the workplace.
  • Expand educational pathways and joint programs with school districts and other post-secondary institutions.  Examples include creating a seamless transfer system with local colleges and institutes for students enrolled in technology and engineering programs, and collaborating with northern institutions on training programs and applied research in areas such as clean energy and energy systems engineering. 
  • Continue implementation of the Aboriginal Strategic Plan.  Priorities include: increasing the numbers of Aboriginal students, faculty and staff; enhancing Aboriginal student services; and fundraising for the construction of a First People’s House and Economic Incubator.
  • Maintain a high level of presidential engagement with faculty, students and staff.
  • Continue to work with student groups to improve the quality of student life, including helping the Simon Fraser Student Society to create a new student union building and stadium on the Burnaby campus.
  • Undertake good faith negotiations with SFU employees with the aim of achieving fair and affordable contract settlements and, in the case of eligible faculty members, with the additional aim of reaching a first collective agreement.
  • Support ongoing efforts to modify the staff pension plan to ensure that the plan is financially sustainable and can continue to meet the needs of staff beneficiaries.
  • Complete a review of the faculty salary structure to ensure that it is consistent with the university’s gender equity commitments.
  • Complete and implement a communications and marketing plan aimed at enhancing SFU’s capacity to communicate its vision, strengths and achievements that helps the university to build its reputation and garner support locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Continue implementation of other parts of SFU’s integrated planning framework, including strategic plans relating to sustainability, community engagement and international relations.
  • Work with the Alumni Association to continue implementing the Alumni strategic plan and support a broad range of Alumni engagement activities.
  • Show substantial progress toward meeting our 50th Anniversary campaign goal of raising $250 million by the end of our Anniversary year.
  • Complete planning and preparations for SFU’s 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2015-16.