Office of the President

Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor

President's Goals and Objectives 2015-16

1. Context: SFU’s Strategic Vision

My goals and objectives for 2015-16 are again guided by SFU’s Strategic Vision.  That 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. Advancing the Strategic Vision

The thrust of my work over the coming year will be to continue to make headway in realizing the objective, goals and principles set out in the strategic vision.  The purpose of this endeavour is to establish SFU as a university whose mission and strengths distinguish it as the best of its kind, provide a source of pride and purpose within the university community, and serve as example to others. As I have emphasized since we launched the vision, achieving this purpose will not come quickly or easily.  It requires persistent efforts over many years to build strength, demonstrate results, gain reputation and attract believers.  Given this, I am encouraged by the progress we have achieved to date, and by the extent to which our vision is already producing positive results and gaining recognition for the university locally, nationally and internationally.

Some specific goals I have set for the coming year are set out below.  However my predominant purpose throughout will remain on realizing 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 enable us to make further headway.

With this in mind, I intend to lead efforts to cultivate and communicate SFU’s embedded and emerging strengths in three thematic areas that have potential to demonstrate both the value of the vision and our commitment to it.  These are:

  1. Learning for Life: highlighting and connecting the full range of experiential and entrepreneurial learning options that SFU provides to its students;
  2. Innovation Strategy: developing a strategy to link and support SFUs many programs and initiatives that promote economic and social innovation;
  3. A Centre for Dialogue: fostering and promoting our dialogue programs and capacities to establish SFU as a globally recognized centre for dialogue.

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 to implement the five-year Academic Plan.  Priorities include: maintaining progress toward accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; implementing a flexible learning strategy; developing educational goals for academic programs; further improving course access; expanding experiential learning opportunities; improving English language support through the new Centre of English Language Learning, Teaching and Research.
  • Further strengthen SFU’s research capacities, performance and mobilization.  Priorities include: developing a new five-year Research Plan that supports the vision and aligns with academic and community engagement plans; launching a university-wide innovation strategy; strengthening research infrastructure and services; developing a strategy to recognize and support community-engaged research.   
  • Produce a balanced budget that, in the face of funding pressures, continues to support the University’s vision and its priorities with respect to program quality, research support and student access.  To this end, ensure that SFU’s administrative expenditures remain well below the Canadian average and revise the strategic priorities funding process to better align with institutional priorities.
  • Advance SFU’s capital plan.  Priorities include: completing a business case and seeking provincial approval for the first phase of SFU Surrey’s campus expansion; securing increased funding for the maintenance and upgrading of facilities on the Burnaby Campus; and continuing to pursue strategies to construct new student residences and athletic facilities.
  • Support continued implementation of BC’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the development of an associated strategy to ensure SFU meets its enrolment targets for programs that educate 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.
  • Further expand educational pathways and joint programs with school districts and other post-secondary institutions.
  • Continue to support implementation of the Aboriginal Strategic Plan.  Priorities include: increasing the numbers of Aboriginal graduates, faculty and staff; enhancing Indigenous student services and programming; and fundraising for a First People’s House and Incubator on the Burnaby campus.
  • Continue to demonstrate progress implementing other components of SFU’s integrated planning framework, including strategic plans relating to sustainability, international relations and community engagement.
  • Support implementation of a responsible investment policy, including SFU’s commitment to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI). 
  • Continue to recruit outstanding candidates to fill senior administrative positions as they become available.
  • 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.
  • Work with SFUFA to seek input from faculty and to develop an implementation plan that responds to the recent report of the Salary Equity Working Report.
  • 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.
  • Work with the Alumni Association to support a broad range of Alumni engagement initiatives and activities.
  • Bring the 50th Anniversary funding campaign and its goal of raising $250 million as close as possible to completion.
  • Deliver a successful program of 50th Anniversary celebrations and activities supported by an effective communications strategy.