Charting our Course Together: Sheridan’s New Academic Plan (2017-2022)

Further to an earlier post, and consistent with the timeline we’ve shared broadly, I’m pleased to report that Sheridan’s Senate voted on March 23 to recommend that the Board of Governors approve our new Academic Plan when they meet next on May 31, 2017.  This is huge!   Thank you to everyone in the Sheridan community – students, faculty and staff – who contributed to the drafting process.  Our final planning milestone is approval by the Board, scheduled for May 31, 2017.   And then … the hard work to realize the plan begins.

In our continuing effort to be transparent and collaborative, I want to ensure every member of the Sheridan learning community has equal access to the final draft that went before Senate. To that end, a summary deck can be found here. The plan lays out the future academic direction for Sheridan and, as you’ll see, focuses on three key themes: character, quality and accountability. Related priorities and areas of focus will enhance the strength of Sheridan’s academic programs, curriculum and the overall student experience. It’s really important that we’re all conversant with the component pieces because they will guide our academic resource investments (money, people, and space) over the next five years.  Questions or concerns about how we got here, why we’ve landed where we have, or what comes next can be forwarded to me directly at

Our new Academic Plan, which is aligned with Sheridan’s Strategic Plan, provides each Faculty and academic unit with a framework for drafting local Operating Plans.  These, in turn, will be tied to budgets and performance goals for leaders. This integrated process will move us towards a more sophisticated planning environment.  Ultimately, the goal is to have every employee at Sheridan understand their role in driving our priorities.  I think we’re on the right track.

The key to realizing our aspirations, however, is our collective capacity to ‘live’ the plan.  To that end, we are working on creative ways to communicate and underscore the themes, priorities and foci.  We’ll start by ensuring that – come September — every employee receives a copy of it.  Further, we’ll find ways to weave the language into key messages, marketing materials, and onto collateral we routinely distribute at events.  As your Provost, I will shape my leadership around the plan; you should expect, for example, me to reference our commitments and progress to-date when I meet with Local Academic Committees, Professional Advisory Committees, faculty, student leaders, and/or external stakeholders.  The Board of Governors and Senate should and can expect regular updates too.

It is a privilege to lead at Sheridan.  Thank you for the opportunity to get to know this exceptional learning community over the last four months.  Drawing on almost thirty years of experience in the post-secondary system, I can say with confidence that we – together — are incredibly well positioned to achieve the overarching aspiration of our 2017-2022 Academic Plan:

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.