Sheridan Journey: A Vision for Sheridan

Over our 50 year history, Sheridan has continued to evolve and grow to meet the changing needs of Ontario's post-secondary students. Continuing with this evolution, we have a Vision for Sheridan that will build on our current diploma and degree programs with the goal of evolving into a unique undergraduate university.

Sheridan Journey


Envision and make recommendations for a governance structure to fully support Sheridan University.


  • To conduct academic research and review best practices of postsecondary governance from selected Canadian universities
  • Identify and describe three common governance models used in universities
  • Summarize key principles that support effective and sound governance
  • Overview of the legislative approaches used to establish universities and the governance criteria for university membership outlined by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC)
  • Develop recommendations that will enable a strong shared governance for Sheridan University


  • Implement and formalize a robust bicameral governance model that would share decision making authority between a senate-like body (responsible for academic decisions) and a board (responsible for administrative decisions):
    • To Move towards a shared governance framework by reviewing key areas of decision-making and determine whether they are “academic” in nature (authority of the Senate) or “administrative” in nature (authority of the Board). Begin to discuss (formalize) this division of roles and responsibilities in provisional by-laws between the two governance bodies
    • Formally identify the processes and forums for exploring and making employment related decisions to enable a clear separation of employment related decisions from academic, strategic, and resource related decisions carried out through the formal governance structure. Identify roles and responsibilities of management, human resources, labour representation, and individual staff and faculty
    • Explore current system and guidelines for Program Advisory Committees with a view of identifying strategies to better leverage their input to further academic excellence, applied research and other strategic imperatives
    • Promote transparency and openness in all decisions; create clear criteria for guiding decisions to conduct business “in camera”
    • Rename the Sheridan Academic Council the Sheridan Senate and continue to develop a robust committee structure to address the core academic mandate and enable incorporation of our differentiators (creativity and innovation, exceptional student experience, “fields of practice”, flexibility)
    • Establish major faculty membership in the Sheridan Senate; formalize a democratic election process for Senate membership
    • Continue to foster a strong Board of Governors
    • Develop a Code of Ethics Policy and Procedure for the Sheridan Senate to provide direction on when, and how, conflicts of interest will be addressed.
    • Consider cross-representation of members on both Sheridan Senate and Board to enhance communications and enable more integrated decision making
    • Enhance and increase meaningful student representation and engagement on both governing bodies supported by training, orientation, formalized co-curricular record and compensation
  • Work with the Provincial Government to draft and pass an institution-specific piece of legislation formally incorporating “Sheridan University”
    • Maintain open dialogue between Sheridan President and the Minister of MTCU
    • Imbed in Sheridan specific legislation the proposed bicameral governance structure, strategic institutional goals and objectives, reference to authority of local by-laws, etc.
    • Develop by-laws to support current governance structure eventually incorporating legislation and/or Charter of Sheridan University
  • Once institutional readiness is assessed, seek university membership with AUCC (refer to Accreditation Checklist)
    • Self-evaluate and possibly work with a consultant to assess readiness vis-a-vis AUCC criteria
    • Continue to drive renewal of Sheridan’s academic and institutional policies and procedures that are required by AUCC
    • Support the recommendations and work of the other Engagement Teams in order to move towards aligning with the AUCC criteria for university status

Engagement Teams