Concordia University

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Overview of the Strategic Directions Initiative

In January 2015, Concordia launched phase one of its strategic directions initiative, engaging students, faculty and staff in conversations about how we can make Concordia future-ready.

Phase two was launched in September 2015 with two major planning efforts: one that involved Faculties and units in developing their own strategic plans, and a second that focussed on developing institutional-wide strategies for directions that we’ve identified as central to our vision of Concordia as a next-generation university. These are: double our research; teach for tomorrow; embrace the city, embrace the world; and grow smartly.

Phase 1 – January to June 2015

During the first phase, we had lively and thoughtful discussions about what’s next for Concordia, influenced by the speaker series, The Future of the University and the Future of Learning, consultations with students, faculty and staff through Idea Cafés and other activities as well as seven working groups. 

We also released a preliminary draft document that outlined our high-level strategic directions, and invited input from the community. This document distilled the feedback we received about what Concordia wants and needs to do in order to thrive in the decade ahead.

After reviewing feedback with the Strategic Directions Advisory Committee, President Alan Shepard presented a revised document to Senate at its meeting of May 15, 2015. Following discussion and recommendations for changes, a slightly revised document was approved by Senators. The document was approved by the Board of Governors in June 2015. Read the document here.

Phase 2 – September to April 2016

The second phase of our process was launched in September 2015. This involved more detailed action planning work by the Faculties, Libraries and administrative areas. Not only were strategic plans for the Faculties, Libraries and administrative areas developed but cross-institutional strategies for the following directions were also completed: double our research, teach for tomorrow, grow smartly and embrace the city and embrace the world. Work will also be done to make improvements to administrative processes. 


Strategic directions advisory committee

The strategic directions initiative was led by an advisory committee whose members include the Senate Steering Committee and the Academic Planning and Priorities Committee as well as students, researchers, faculty and staff.

During phase one, seven idea groups were created – small teams that were given mandates to review input gathered at the idea cafés and their own consulting activities and research. These seven groups were: the future of learning and experiential learning, innovation and entrepreneurship, international strategy, next-generation academic structures, next-generation student skills and expectations, public/community engagement and research.

President Alan Shepard provided an update to the Board of Governors about the initiative on April 15. This was followed by a discussion of draft strategic directions at the Senate meeting held on April 17, 2015 meeting. A final draft was released to the Concordia community on April 23 for feedback by May 6.

After reviewing feedback with the Strategic Directions Advisory Committee, President Alan Shepard presented a revised document to Senate at its meeting of May 15, 2015. Following discussion and recommendations for changes, a slightly revised document was approved by Senators. The document was approved by the Board of Governors in June 2015.

  • Strategic Directions Advisory Committee - Members of the Strategic Directions Advisory Committee include the Senate Steering Committee and Academic Planning and Priorities Committee as well as additional students, researchers, faculty and staff. 
  • Idea groups - Seven Idea Groups were created by the Advisory Committee to focus on key strategic issues as we chart the future of Concordia. These groups consulted with members of our community, initiated conversations, and gleaned some of the most promising ideas for what’s next at Concordia.
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