McMaster launches new strategic plan based on campus-wide feedback

After consultations across campus in 2020, a new strategic plan has been developed and designed to evolve alongside institutional priorities over the next three years.

After consultations across campus in 2020, a new strategic plan has been developed and designed to evolve alongside institutional priorities over the next three years.

“We received a great deal of thoughtful commentary about our collective aspirations and goals,” says President David Farrar. “What emerged was a roadmap to guide us and position McMaster to tackle local and global issues. This plan is intended to be a living document, reflective of our nimbleness and innovative approach.”

The Strategic Plan aligns closely with the university’s refreshed vision statement: “Impact, ambition and transformation through excellence, inclusion and community: Advancing human and societal health and well-being.” It also builds on a variety of other strategic plans already in place across the institution and is intended to provide a framework for all Faculties, Departments and areas as they develop and refine their own future plans and priorities.

Supporting this vision and rooted in campus community feedback, the new plan focuses on five institutional priorities:

Inclusive Excellence

The plan recognizes that a diversity of peoples, perspectives, knowledges, and ways of knowing must be intentionally and authentically engaged to achieve McMaster’s vision for excellence and transformational impact through student learning, scholarly research, and global and local community engagement. Strategic actions include building out the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, as well as obligations arising from McMaster’s commitment to respond to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

Teaching and Learning

This pillar of the plan emphasizes advancing innovation in teaching and learning methods in the classroom and beyond. COVID-19 necessitated major changes in the learning environment and McMaster remains committed to harnessing the positive aspects and technological advances that have been made, while supporting the best possible educational experience for students. The strategic plan also emphasizes the importance of elevating teaching as a professional discipline.

Research and Scholarship

Building on McMaster’s reputation for world-class research and interdisciplinary collaboration, the university continues to focus on making a positive and transformative impact in areas ranging from physical and mental health, pandemic preparedness, climate change, social justice and Indigenous Ways of Knowing, to advanced manufacturing. Core components include the Brighter World Research Initiative, with the initial focus on Canada’s Global Nexus for Pandemics and Biological Threats, and research and scholarship related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Engaging Local, National, Indigenous and Global Communities

McMaster will continue its partnership with the City of Hamilton and local Indigenous communities and operate as a trusted and respectful partner to communities the university serves, locally and globally. This pillar will expand current partnerships by further engaging partners to foster and promote community-based research and knowledge mobilization. Although COVID-19 has changed the manner in which collaboration happens, this area of focus seeks to leverage new methods of engagement in a virtual environment.

Operational Excellence

To realize the institutional goals above, effective operations that support campus activities are essential. This strategic pillar seeks to modernize and streamline systems and processes across McMaster to enable administrative areas of the university to be creative, innovative and responsive to changing circumstances. Ongoing training, resources and professional development opportunities will be an integral part of this work. Importantly, the university will continue to prioritize sustainability, environmental stewardship and accessibility as campus activities and operations evolve.

To read the full strategic plan, please visit the Office of the President’s website.

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