Senate Guidelines for Academic Plans


Each academic unit[1] shall prepare a five-year academic plan in the same year.

Academic plans should support the Vision/Mission of the University and are intended to guide the operation and development of the academic unit. These plans may be used by the Dean and Vice President, Academic in making decisions on the allocation of resources.

Parallel procedures will be used for plans of academic service/support[2] units.

1. Time Line:

1.1 The Vice-President Academic will prepare a draft academic plan at the start of the year in which planning occurs. Following consultation, the Vice-President will distribute a final plan that reflects high level academic priorities and indicators of success. It is expected that academic units and Faculties will develop plans that support the overall academic priorities, while focusing on the particular goals of the units and Faculties. The plan will be distributed by the end of the first week of May of the year in which planning is undertaken.

1.2 Academic unit five-year plans are to be completed by the end of the first week of August of the same year.

1.3 Each Faculty Dean will prepare a five-year academic plan on the same schedule. (For departmentalized Faculties these plans will be developed in consultation with the academic units within that Faculty). These plans are to be completed by the first week of October of the same year.

1.4 The Vice-President, Academic will incorporate Faculty and service/support unit plans into the final high level academic plan by mid-November of the same year. This document will be submitted to SCUP for its review and forwarded to Senate for information.

2. Content:

2.1 The academic unit will determine the organization of the plan but plans should include/consider the following information.(Deans may request their Units to include additional content);

2.1.1 Performance Review

§  The most recent unit external review report and resulting action plan should be considered in preparing the plan.

§  An assessment of achievements against the previous plan.

2.1.2 Programme Overview:

· A brief overview of the undergraduate and graduate programs offered by the unit, including major current and future program development and revision activities.

· Describe the participation of the unit in other University programs, including interdisciplinary activities as well as Life-long Learning and Work-integrated Learning.

2.1.3 Plans

· Engaging Students: Plans around teaching and learning as well as recruitment and support issues for undergraduate and graduate students. Issues regarding International Students may also need to be addressed.

· Engaging Research: A summary of the research activities of the unit's members and how these relate to the SFU Research Strategic Plan.

· Engaging Communities: Plans to maintain and expand the unit’s community connections, the creation of opportunities for community-based learning, and the role of community partners in research.

2.1.4 Resources:

Assess the current (and projected) resources available to the unit in relation to the priorities and objectives proposed. This should include:

· faculty complement – including renewal

· support staff

· instructional resources

· equipment

· operating budgets

· space

Sources of any additional financial resources other than what is expected to be allocated by the Dean over the period need to be identified and agreed with the Dean.

2.2 Communication: An outline of the communication process to ensure all unit members are informed of the objectives and content of the plan.

2.3 Faculties: All faculties, including non-departmentalized faculties, should submit a plan according to the template agreed between the Deans and the Vice President Academic.

3 Annual Update.

Each academic year academic units, Faculty Deans, and the Vice President, Academic will prepare a brief update to their academic plan. This will be completed before November 30 of each year to inform discussions at the Deans’ Council and feed into the formal Budgeting process.

4 Data Provision.

The Vice- President, Academic, through the office of Institutional Research and Planning will provide statistical information for use in academic plans and plan updates.

May 2012

[1] Academic Departments, Schools, and Programs.

[2] Graduate Studies, Student Services and Lifelong Learning

SFU Views


Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Awards for Excellence in Teaching. The deadline for submissions is October 15thVisit here for more information on the nomination and adjudication process.

View the Report on course-based experiential education across all SFU Faculties

View the 2013-2018 Academic Plan

View the Revised Report on Learning Outcomes and Assessment