Provost's Office

Provost and Vice-President Academic Report to Senate—June 2023

June 13, 2023

SFU’s executive team and our Board of Governors are committed to increased communication about topics discussed at each Board and Senate meeting, and it is my pleasure to present a summary of key initiatives discussed at Senate on May 15 and June 5, 2023.

You can also read SFU President Joy Johnson’s message from the May 25, 2023 Board of Governor’s meeting here.

And Board Chair Angie Lamarsh’s report here.

SFU Medical School project

In May, SFU continued to actively engage external stakeholders and partners, including UBC to develop a collaboration framework, BCIT and other institutions regarding shared space, and the Fraser Health Authority and the First Nations Health Authority.

SFU was leveraging internal experts and using external firms to fill in gaps to contribute expertise, in the form of leading practices and direct experience in the design of the SFU medical school.

The project team worked quickly to meet the May 31 submission deadline for a business case. They reached some major milestones and incorporated key findings from a site visit on May 4 to the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. In summary:

  • Working numbers related to workforce and infrastructure were validated, and presented to KPMG for costing analysis;
  • Letters of support were obtained from partners, as well as multiple letters of support from community and medical groups;
  • A working draft was presented to the Provost and VPA and later presented to SFU Executives;
  • Following Executive review, the working draft was shared with colleagues in the Ministries for their feedback;
  • The full costing model from KPMG was presented to Executive;
  • Final incorporation of feedback, polishing, brand formatting and clean-up was completed by delivery on May 31.

Learn more:

2023/24 Enrolment Plan

The 2023/24 Enrolment Plan was approved by Senate, and presented at the March 2023 meeting of the Board. The goal of the enrolment plan is to set realistic targets for both domestic and international enrolments.

Domestic undergraduate enrolment targets (18,088 PFTE including co-op, or 16,606 PFTE excluding co-op) are set at 4.7% above Ministry funded levels, consistent with SFU’s long range enrolment plan.

International undergraduate enrolment targets (4,286 excluding co-op) are set at 20.5% of total PFTEs, reflecting a measured approach to planning for international enrolment recovery.

Due to high demand for graduate programs and being a research-intensive university, we are

planning for 3,838 graduate PFTEs (excluding co-op), which is 26% above the Ministry funded level.

We are closely monitoring international student visa processing times.

Student Services

Student Recruitment and Admissions coordinated their first post-pandemic campus conversion and retention events at both the SFU Burnaby and SFU Surrey campuses. More than 1,500 admitted students and their families attended with participation from every faculty, plus alumni, and Student Services. Both events were vibrant with lots of dialogue, and provided guests a sense of SFU life.

The goal was to solidify student decisions on accepting SFU’s offer of admission, and since the events, we've seen increases in domestic and international acceptance numbers.

Learning and Teaching

Recommendations from our review of general education (writing, quantitative, and breadth courses: WQB) were approved by Senate in April.

At SFU’s recent site visit for accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the evaluators stated that “the WQB program goals align well with the institutional mission” and “notably, there has been an institutional-wide review and re-affirmation of the WQB program… the peer evaluation team compliments the institution for improving General Education”.

Leadership Updates

Thank you

As we get closer to the time when many of us will be taking some well-deserved summer vacation time, I want to thank all of you for the work you do to support our students all year long. Hope you enjoy some restful and relaxing time away from work this summer.

Wade Parkhouse
Provost and Vice-President Academic, pro tem
Simon Fraser University