2019 – 2024 Academic Plan


At SFU, we’re starting from a great place. We’ve embraced our role as Canada’s Engaged University - defined by our innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement.

But now it’s time to think differently. To be bold. To take risks in anticipation of the future.

To revive the spirit of the radical campus.


Our 2019 – 2024 academic plan was created in collaboration with the SFU community and builds on the academic plans of our faculties. It outlines strategies for SFU’s leadership and participation in the innovation shaping our future.

It’s also a platform upon which to share stories of the programs, courses, and services built, informed and led by our engaged students, faculty and community – which are transforming our learning environments and creating better worlds.

Download Full Publication

Sign up for Academic Plan updates

5 Challenges

Our academic plan focuses on five equally important challenges:

01. Student life, learning and success

SFU is committed to community-engaged and community-integrated learning

SFU is committed to community-engaged and community-integrated learning. This looks like:

  • The new Media and Maker Commons at the W.A.C. Bennett Library. This collaborative, hands-on, innovative space supports cross-disciplinary learning, co-curricular and personal projects, community collaboration, and creative engagement.

  • All SFU students accessing free, confidential and multi-lingual counselling and support - reachable from anywhere in the world, 24/7 by phone or through a downloadable app.

02. Academic quality and curriculum

SFU's vision is an innovative and progressive curriculum

Our vision is an innovative and progressive curriculum that meets the needs of the students of today - and tomorrow. This looks like:

  • SFU Health Innovation's Health Change Lab, where students work in interdisciplinary teams to investigate a real, social, or economic challenge currently impacting community health.

  • SFU's first intensive full-time semester in Alternate Realities.

  • The launch of SFU's Centre for Educational Excellence, which provides faculty with cutting-edge, integrated course and curriculum support and is a key partner in SFU's Indigenization and internationalization efforts.

03. Engagement

SFU is committed to community-engaged and community-integrated learning


CEI total funding to date


Projects funded





SFU is committed to community-engaged and community-integrated learning. This looks like:

  • SFU's Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) offering small grants to SFU faculty and staff in support of impactful projects developed with community partners.

  • Community outreach initiatives like Science in Action - a free, collaborative and hands-on program open to elementary and high school students. Exiting lab experiments and presentations help inspire curiosity and wonder in the next generation of scientists.

  • Students graduating with skills in innovation and entrepreneurship developed through the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship, SFU's interdisciplinary home and academic hub for entrepreneurial thinking and action.

04. Interdisciplinarity

SFU is committed to creating dynamic, interdisciplinary opportunities for students and faculty

SFU is committed to creating dynamic, interdisciplinary opportunities for students and faculty. This looks like:

  • The Faculty of Education's new Research Hub, a centre of research and knowledge mobilization focused on creative, collaborative and interdisciplinary scholarship and programming.

  • Programs that integrate diverse and numerous disciplines - like those offered by the School of Resource and Environmental Management - which combine biophysical and social sciences to help students identify and solve today's environmental challenges.

  • Canada's first Sustainable Energy Engineering program offered in a new state-of-the-art facility at SFU's Surrey campus.

05. Faculty renewal

SFU is committed to supporting and advancing excellence in faculty scholarship and creativity. This looks like promoting and supporting the exceptional contributions of faculty members, including:

SFU: Faculty Renewal - Sheri Fabian - National Teaching Fellowship recipient

Sheri Fabian, a 2019 3M National Teaching Fellowship recipient. Fabian is a lecturer in the School of Criminology and is also director of SFU's Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines. Creating empowering classroom environments for students that celebrate diversity, accessibility and inclusivity is at the forefront of her teaching philosophy.

SFU: Faculty Renewal - Mani Larijani - Shrum Chair in Biological Mechanisms of Disease

Mani Larijani, SFU's Shrum Chair in Biological Mechanisms of Disease. Larijani's research includes molecular biology, biochemistry, evolutionary and cellular biology, genetics, immunology, oncology, computational science and health science. His multidisciplinary research program on DNA/RNA mutating processes led him to his new appointment as the Shrum Chair in Biological Mechanisms of Disease.

SFU: Faculty Renewal - Marianne Ignace - Governor General Award for Innovation recipient

Marianne Ignace, Governor General Award for Innovation recipient. Ignace is a faculty member in SFU's departments of Linguistics and First Nations Studies. She co-founded SFU's award-winning Kamloops program in 1988 and co-developed with colleagues and departments at SFU, the university's First Nations Studies, First Nations language proficiency programs, and First Nations language courses.

SFU's: Equity, Diversity and inclusion

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

SFU's commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is one of the key components of our academic plan.

SFU's Reconciliation


Decolonization and reconciliation is embedded into the work of our academic plan.

Walking Together

When we transform our learning environments; when we connect to communities and incorporate new perspectives; when we embrace the strength of our diversity – then we can teach, learn, research, and engage without boundaries, across distances great and small, in worlds real and virtual.

We welcome your thoughts, feedback and comments on the academic plan. Please submit your comments to