Vice-President, Academic and Research

Academic Plan


Entrance to McNally Building on a sunny day

The Saint Mary’s University vision, mission, and values, as articulated in the President’s Strategic Plan, all speak to the opportunities available to us all. The role of the Academic Plan is lay out the academic vision and blueprint for how the Academy builds on its strengths and realizes the potential for new opportunities, all under the framework of the Strategic Plan. There are core values (e.g. learning, teaching, research, student success) common to most Academic Plans, but we seek here to speak to the unique qualities and character of Saint Mary’s in addressing each of these issues. Saint Mary’s is also unique in its focus on intercultural learning, building an understanding between cultures and creating opportunities for cultures and communities to learn from one another.

We are beginning the process for renewing the Academic Plan in the Fall of 2018. This will be done in concert with the renewal of the Strategic Research Plan, given the clear connections between the two.

In developing these plans, there are a few core principles we wish to follow. We will:

  • use a highly consultative approach to develop the plans
  • take care to maintain our existing strengths
  • consider opportunities for program renewal and new program development
  • highlight burgeoning research areas within SMU that could become new strengths
  • examine our support for intercultural and indigenization initiatives in all aspects of teaching, learning, and research, and
  • look at how we support student success

Lastly, while the plans will be blueprints for action based on what we identify now, that does not preclude the possibility of acting on good new ideas over the course of the plans.

We will be striking a group with both faculty and student representation to work with us on this process. We particularly want to give early and mid-career faculty a chance to bring their experiences at other institutions to the table.

  • The working group (coming soon)

We plan to hold town halls and focus groups, both broad and specific in focus, to hear your ideas and suggestions. The town hall “launch” was held on October 12th. We are grateful to those who attended and gave valuable feedback and insight on how we should start the process to build the plans. The first rounds of consultations are scheduled and we will ensure these events continue to posted on this page.

Ultimately, both plans must be presented to, and approved by, Senate. Any members of the working group (outside of the VPAR and AVPR) will not be members of Senate to ensure complementary perspectives. Senate will be advised regularly of progress once the consultations start in earnest. We welcome your questions and feedback at vpacademic@smu.ca.