Like all comprehensive universities, Dalhousie can be a complex place at times.
We have Faculties, departments, service units — all with distinct functions, disciplines and strategies for achieving their goals within the university’s mission.
To help strengthen institutional planning and support our academic and research mission, Dalhousie is rolling out a new Integrated Planning Framework (IPF) starting this summer. The framework is designed to create more alignment and efficiencies between plans and strategies across the university, helping Faculties and units achieve their goals through a supportive and collaborative planning cycle aligned with the fiscal year.
“It’s about centring our academic and research mission in our planning, allowing space to discuss and work towards consensus on priorities while still allowing our Faculties and units the ability to pursue their own high impact priorities and projects,” says Kim Brooks, Dalhousie's acting provost and incoming president.
The framework also aims to encourage ownership and accountability for Faculty and unit planning.
“We want to support data-driven decision making at all corners of the university, with planning conversations that allow more locally relevant and focused input into our plans by faculty, staff and students,” says Gitta Kulczycki, vice-president finance and administration.
A consistent cycle
Though every Faculty and unit has its own goals and priorities, the new framework will help provide a clearer and more consistent process for their engagement in broader university planning discussions, beginning each spring and continuing through until budget discussions and decisions the following winter.
The IPF also includes a new mechanism for supporting strategic projects that may lie outside the scope of a unit’s core budget envelope or which span multiple units. Previously, Faculties and units were asked to respond to a twice-annual call-for-proposals for strategic initiatives funding through a whole separate process. Now, these “Impact Projects” — which can involve requests for one-time or ongoing resources or support— are a component of the planning process Faculties and units are already undertaking.
The IPF will function in concert with the development of a new budget model that will establish the mechanism by which core budget envelopes for Faculties and units are established. That budget development process is underway, with more details to come in the months ahead.
With the IPF having been through an extensive consultation process with deans and budget unit managers, it is now being shared with Faculty and unit leaders as they begin work on planning for the upcoming year. If you would like to find out more, visit our Integrated Planning Framework page on dal.ca.
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