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Developing our shared plan

To develop our Third Century Promise, we sought to capture and reflect the goals and priorities of faculty, staff, students, and other members of our community.

A product of our shared aspirations

Our Third Century Promise — or Si'st Kasqimtlnaqnipunqekl Teli L'wi'tmasimk in Mi’kmaq (pronunciation: See-st G-ahs-h-eem-dl-na-h-n-ee-boon-h-eg-l Deli L-weed-m-ah-simk) — is the product of our shared aspirations as a Dalhousie community, expressed through a comprehensive, engaging, and consultative planning process that spanned two years.

It signals Dalhousie’s long-term ambition while providing a clear, actionable strategy to guide us during the next five years. Future plans are expected to build on these priorities, just as our new plan seeks to build on its 2014-18 precursor, Inspiration and Impact, in which the opening sentence foreshadowed the long-term commitments we are now formalizing:

Engagement phases

To develop this plan, we sought to capture and reflect the goals and priorities of faculty, staff, students, and other valued members of our community through four distinct phases of engagement:

Broad input was gathered through a general survey that attracted 253 responses; 37 engagement meetings covering all faculties and attracting over 600 faculty, staff, and students; and a retreat that included 200 participants and garnered over 900 comments.

16 informal learning circles explored subjects identified in the previous phase in greater depth.

Self-study teams researched and developed thought papers around eight emerging strategic themes. Each team was co-led by a faculty member and a staff member, supported by subject-matter experts and team members from across the university community. In total, more than 150 individuals served on a self-study team.

Following a pause in planning activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the president and senior leadership team consolidated insights from all phases of the process into five core pillars and gathered final insights and feedback from deans, VPs, AVPs, Senate and Board officers, and other leaders across campus. 
It would be impossible to include all the excellent feedback, insights, objectives, and recommendations that emerged from this thorough set of consultations. This plan is our best effort to synthesize the essence of the many priorities and compelling ideas brought forward. Any recommendations not explicitly referenced will be continually revisited as we move forward, primarily through specific strategic initiatives required to operationalise the plan’s priorities and actions.

Emerging strategic themes

Individuals and groups from all parts of the university played a crucial role in the development of our plan.

Through each of the four phases of consultation and development, students, faculty, staff, internal offices and departments, and external organizations took the time to share their insights and perspectives.

Our Strategic Renewal: Report on Strategic Planning [PDF-265KB] outlines the planning process and the emerging strategic themes and priorities that helped inform the final phase of our strategic plan development.

As part of this planning process, eight strategic themes emerged that set the stage for detailed examination by self-study teams. Each self-study team was co-led by a faculty member and a staff member with team members from across the University, supported by subject-matter experts and executive champions (VPs). More than 150 Dalhousie faculty, staff, and students were self-study team members. Each team developed a thought paper for their respective theme, informed by cross-university consultation, evidence-based research, and expert input. 

The eight emerging strategic themes were: