FCAT Strategic Plan

From April 2023 to January 2024, FCAT engaged in a strategic planning process to understand the needs of its faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows, students, and external partners, and create a set of priorities to focus on.

The strategic planning process began with conversations amongst the Dean’s Advisory Council, made up of the FCAT Dean, Associate Deans, School and Program Directors, and the Faculty Advisor on Equity, Community, and Care. These conversations explored the reasons for creating a strategic plan and helped define a strategic planning process.

This process was further refined through conversations amongst staff within the FCAT Dean’s Office.

Next, a series of online surveys were created and shared with FCAT faculty, post-doctoral fellows, staff, students, and alumni in June 2023 to collect information on the strengths and weaknesses of FCAT and how they felt their work and experience in and with FCAT could be improved. Questions focused on teaching and learning, research, faculty work, staff and administration, communications, advancement, alumni engagement, and external relations.

Survey data was analyzed during the summer of 2023. Following this, FCAT faculty, staff, and post-doctoral fellows engaged in open forums where they were presented with the results of the surveys, reflected on the survey responses, and provided more thoughts on what they felt FCAT’s strategic priorities should be moving forward.

The strategic planning process also involved the Dean and staff from the Dean’s Office working with the FCAT Dean’s External Advisory Board, which is made up of highly esteemed community members in FCAT’s various disciplines, to understand their external perspectives on FCAT and their ideas for priorities.

The FCAT Dean worked with the FCAT Dean’s Student Advisory Council, made up of students from each of FCAT’s schools and programs, to further explore the needs of students from across FCAT.

We analyzed the data, thoughts, and ideas from across all of the aforementioned community engagement activities.

This analysis revealed five main themes for strategic priorities:

  1. Transforming the Faculty Member Experience: Support, connect, and uplift the work of faculty members across research, teaching, and service.
  2. Elevating and Supporting Staff Members: Create a fulfilling work environment for staff members through additional support mechanisms and knowledge sharing. 
  3. Creating the Future of Teaching and Learning: Plan, support, and enact new ways of teaching and learning, while strengthening existing programs.
  4. Connecting and Sharing Knowledge: Create, support, and broaden the ways that faculty, staff, post-doctoral fellows and students can connect within and across units to share knowledge, brainstorm ideas, and build relationships.
  5. Engaging with the Community and World Around Us: Tell the stories of the schools and programs and foster long-term connections with external communities.

Across all of the strategic priority areas, it was very clear from the FCAT community that our priorities should focus on strengthening each unit within FCAT—the schools and programs. The units were seen as the core of FCAT and strengthening them means strengthening FCAT as a whole. The FCAT community also told us that it was important to bring people together across our units to create opportunities for collaboration and knowledge sharing.

FCAT’s strategic plan builds on and aligns itself with the SFU strategic plan, SFU: What’s Next?, where we are committed to Uphold Truth and Reconciliation, Engage in Global Challenges, Make a Difference for B.C., and Transform the SFU Experience.

The FCAT Strategic Plan and forthcoming FCAT Strategic Research Plan (2024) will complement and inform each other.