I am pleased to provide an update on our progress towards achieving the six priorities articulated in our 2017-2022 Academic Plan. Further to the ”New Year” letter that President Preece wrote to our community in January 2018, we continue to work toward our institutional Vision of becoming Sheridan Polytechnic, a university celebrated as a global leader in career-focused, applied education. With the Vision and our Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA) as drivers, the Academic Plan is one of three strategic foci that will underpin Sheridan’s success through 2020; the other two are the six key operational sustainability initiatives and the People Plan. These foci are interdependent, and synergistic.

With reference to our Academic Plan, colleagues will recall our commitment to the three main themes of character, quality and accountability. Specifically, we articulated the following commitment: Moving forward to 2022, the Sheridan learning community will invigorate our enviable organizational character, maintain and intensify our pursuit of quality; and, promote individual and organizational accountability. To fuel those outcomes, we will:

  • Build community by embodying Sheridan’s unique character.
  • Advance quality teaching and deep learning through inclusive, learner-focused design and academic support services that embrace the diverse strengths of our students.
  • Cement our commitment to polytechnic education by promoting and supporting scholarship, research and creative activities.
  • Fuel academic and career success by cultivating curiosity, a passion for growth and learning, perseverance, fun and a sense of purpose.
  • Enhance the student experience through programs, services and space design.
  • Develop an operational culture of planning, accountability and continuous improvement.

Academic PlanSince the Plan was endorsed by Senate and subsequently approved by the Board of Governors in May-2017, we’ve been socializing the Plan and our priorities. At the ‘Welcome Back Breakfast’, for example, we used technology to engage with colleagues around the three themes and their corresponding icons (which were developed by a Sheridan Illustration graduate!). Hard copies of the Plan and a themed note pad were delivered to every employee. Further, I have personally embraced opportunities to attend Faculty, Local Academic Committee, Senate Sub-Committee, Senate and Board meetings to discuss the Plan and our progress to-date.

Practically/operationally, the Plan will be realized through the development of local, strategic and operational plans that are currently under development. Specifically, all Faculties and departments across the Academic Division have been working on articulating their commitments for advancing the three themes and six priorities. Coordination of these efforts is happening through the Office of the Vice-Provost, Academic led by Melanie Spence-Ariemma and the new Sheridan Integrated Planning Office (SIP), under the direction of Sara Rumsey. The first drafts of those Plans were excellent. Over the coming months, we’ll be working to integrate the plans, identify overlaps/opportunities for synergy, stage and gate deliverables, and codify metrics.

Following a process similar to the development of plans in the Academic Division, the teams that make up the Administrative departments across Sheridan are beginning to conceive and build their 2-year operational plans.

Simultaneously, leaders across our campuses will be working on the six operational sustainability initiatives, namely: adopting a more strategic approach to enrolment management; shifting to an activities based budget model; integrating our planning processes; optimizing our space allocation; advancing our management of enterprise-wide risk; and, the acquisition/implementation of information technology to support human resources and finance.

All of this rests on the active engagement of our most valuable resource: people! Sheridan’s People Plan includes a focus on employee and leadership development, talent management, and employee recognition. Further, the Centre for People & Organizational Development at Sheridan will launch its first employee engagement survey to all employees in November-2018. This will be followed by a collaborative action-planning process.

As always, I’m tremendously proud to lead at Sheridan. There is so much happening to propel us forward. I want to thank everybody – students, staff, faculty, and administrators – for their genuine commitment to advancing our Academic Plan. In the face of everything else we were managing last fall… what we’ve accomplished is particularly impressive.

Janet Morrison
Provost and Vice President, Academic

Back to all Announcements