Questions and Answers
Why does UBC have a strategic plan, and what is it used for?
A strategic plan typically sets out an organization’s vision and priorities, together with accompanying strategies, which are realized over several years through an implementation plan and appropriate resourcing. It is considered to be a foundational document that articulates high-level direction that connects plans from across the institution and enables the creation of a roadmap for progress.
Why has UBC launched a new plan in 2018?
Having celebrated our centennial, marking 100 years of excellence in research, education and service to British Columbia, we felt the time was right to look to the future. Creating a new plan helps lead the way forward, identifying key areas in which to focus our efforts, and providing support for decision-making and resource allocation across the university.
Does the new plan apply to both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses?
UBC’s people live and work across the province of British Columbia – at our two main campuses in Vancouver and the Okanagan, at our distributed learning sites in hospital and health care centres throughout the province, and at unique locations such as Robson Square and the UBC Learning Exchange. Shaping UBC’s Next Century will guide and support activity throughout our entire institution.
How does the new strategic plan relate to existing Faculty and cross-university strategic plans?
Shaping UBC’s Next Century sets out our collective vision and purpose, and our goals and strategies for the years ahead. It will guide our decisions, actions and interactions into the future, and will create a framework for resource allocation across the university. The great work done by our Faculties and other units is the foundation on which the new strategic plan is built. The plan also provides connections across – and support for – the many strategic plans that articulate ambitions and guide activity in constituent parts of UBC, including Faculties and university-wide initiatives.
How long will the new strategic plan be in place?
It is anticipated thatShaping UBC’s Next Century will be in place for the next ten years. We will continue to seek input from students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners as we move forward. We will also track our progress against the objectives of the strategic plan – and will check and revise our direction and focus in response to changes both within and beyond the university.
Who decided what should go into this new strategic plan?
Over the course of 2017, we consulted broadly with members of the UBC community and external partners to help shape the framework and priorities that form the backbone of our strategic plan.
Consultation included online surveys, open house events, discussion with multiple groups on campus and beyond, the establishment of a steering committee – made up of UBC faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members – and dialogue with Deans and other university leaders. We also established representative working groups to substantiate the plan through strategies attached to each major area.
We are grateful to all those who took the time to share their perspectives and passion throughout this process.
The strategic plan refers to themes and core areas, what does these mean?
Three themes represent key opportunities for transformational change in how we work – inclusion, collaboration and innovation. These cross-cutting areas will enhance our academic impact in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. They are imperatives to achieving the vision and objectives of the plan.
There are also four core areas which continue to define what we do as a public university: People and Places, Research Excellence, Transformative Learning and Local and Global Engagement. These core areas form the building blocks for progress. They are the mechanisms through which we seek to inspire.
How do the strategies fit within the plan?
Shaping UBC’s Next Century details 20 individual strategies. These strategies have been informed by the themes and core areas (detailed above). For simplicity, the strategies are grouped according to their related core area, but they are also interrelated to one or more themes. Our next steps will be translating these strategies to actions, and creating project plans to guide and align our efforts.
How will we measure our progress?
We will create project plans with milestones to measures our progress. Where possible, we will pilot ideas and assess outcomes before making wholesale change. The plan is intended to encompass most activity across the university, rather than reflect a collection of ancillary tasks. It will also act as a useful mechanism for determining what we might be able to stop or defer doing. In addition to developing specific plans and metrics, we will also continue to seek input from our students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners. We are committed to ensuring that our people and teams are appropriately resourced, supported and connected in the various initiatives that constitute Shaping UBC’s Next Century.