Approximately 70 Sheridan faculty, staff and administrators came together in MacDonald Heaslip Hall (the theatre) at Trafalgar Campus on October 25 to participate in an interactive, world café forum, designed to elicit feedback on draft recommendations that have been prepared to help create Sheridan’s next academic plan.

Known as the Academic Innovation Strategy (AIS) “Act 2”, the plan goes hand-in-hand with Sheridan’s institutional Strategic Plan.  The “Act 2” specification denotes that this is a follow-up piece to Sheridan’s first such academic plan, which was written in 2010 and was due for updating.

In thanking the group of academics and administrators for their tremendous dedication over the 12-month span of their efforts, then Provost and VP, Academic Dr. Mary Preece (who oversaw the process) reiterated that the work they have completed provides Sheridan with an opportunity to refine its future and create a firm foundation for our transition to Sheridan University.

AIS Taskforce

Six taskforce teams were assigned different areas of priority for the institution and were charged with proposing recommendations for high-level academic goals related to these themes: 

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Internationalization
  • Pathways and Partnerships
  • Scholarship, Research and Creative Activities
  • Social Responsibility
  • Teaching and Learning

While each taskforce had the latitude to tackle their themes the best way they saw fit, they all applied great rigor to the process, incorporating elements of research (both primary and secondary – such as surveys, focus groups, benchmarking, content analyses and literature reviews), stakeholder consultations, creative problem solving methodologies, pilot testing, and socializing proposed ideas.

Upon hearing 10 minute (or shorter!) overview presentations from each group on October 25, the taskforce members then rotated tables to provide their input on each other’s draft recommendations.  The final recommendations that are delivered are meant to answer the question, “What will Sheridan look like in 2020?”

Also on hand to participate in the process that day was Dr. Janet Morrison, who assumes the role of Provost and Vice President Academic at Sheridan on November 28.  The taskforce groups have until Nov. 28th to incorporate the feedback they received as a result of the world café consultations and finalize their recommendations. Dr. Morrison will then weave the findings together to write Sheridan’s Academic Innovation Strategy “Act 2”, which will inform the future design and delivery of our curriculum.

AIS Paper


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