Academic Plan 2019-2024

SFU: Transition to the future

We are starting from a great place. We’ve embraced our role as Canada’s Engaged University defined by our dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU is recognized annually as the country’s top comprehensive university. But now it’s time to think different. To be bold. To ask some hard questions of ourselves and others and ensure SFU will be the university we want it to be in 2024 and beyond.

Reviving the radical campus

We need to revive the spirit of the radical campus and take risks in anticipation of the future, harvesting the strength of our diversity; providing an inclusive, safe and healthy environment where students acquire knowledge consistent with the excellence for which SFU is known.

How will we provide exceptional academic programming and outstanding student experience? Or grow world-class scholarship and contribute to social infrastructure for a better world?

These are the questions we need to ask. These are the challenges to which we must rise.

Five challenges

This academic plan has been created with the SFU community and builds on the academic plans developed by faculties, their academic units and support services. It outlines the strategies on which SFU will need to focus to continue to be a leading engaged university and to be an active participant in the innovation and dialogue that shapes our future.

Learn more about the different five-year Faculty plans here.

Challenge 1: Student life, learning and success

Enhance support and physical and virtual environments to make the student experience at SFU the best it can be.

Challenge 2: Academic quality/curriculum

Take a hard look at today’s curriculum and practices to ensure they are meaningful, easy to navigate and meet our student needs for today and tomorrow.

Challenge 3: Engagement

Further the connections between the institution and the broader community, with dialogue, outreach, and learning as priorities.

Challenge 4: Bridging divides

Remove barriers and create an environment that supports collaboration across disciplines and administrative boundaries.

Challenge 5: Faculty renewal

Recruit and hire the best faculty and staff while supporting SFU’s equity and diversity objectives and addressing career incentives to support existing and future priorities.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

SFU's commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is one of the key components of this academic plan. Simon Fraser University is committed to a culture of inclusion and mutual respect.

Aboriginal Reconciliation

SFU’s commitment to decolonization, Aboriginal reconciliation and Indigeneity is embedded in this academic plan as well as the academic plans of the faculties, their academic units and support services. Simon Fraser University is committed to walking the path with our Aboriginal communities and advancing the SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council’s calls to action.

The path ahead

This academic plan is a living document and, together with SFU’s strategic research plan, the innovation strategy and the community engagement strategy, supports academic endeavour and charts the institutional priorities and goals over the next five years.

For SFU to remain radical, we must embrace disruption as the new normal. When we transform our learning environments; when we connect to communities and incorporate perspectives; when we break through silos and re-conceive the curriculum – then we can teach, learn, research, and engage without boundaries, across distances great and small, in worlds real and virtual.

We need your help. We want to challenge you to think, to feel empowered, to help us set priorities – how we teach, who we hire. Let’s ensure SFU will be the university we want it to be in 2024 and beyond.

How to submit feedback and comments

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