On May 14, U of T’s Governing Council approved UTSC’s five-year strategic plan, “Inspiring Inclusive Excellence.” This plan will remain in effect from 2020–2025 and focuses on five priorities to achieve campus prosperity, which were determined through consultations with students, faculty, and members of the UTSC community.
In an interview with The Varsity, UTSC Vice-President & Principal Wisdom Tettey expressed that intentional inclusion is at the heart of the strategic plan. According to the plan, “This means embracing and promoting the enriching contributions that come from the diverse backgrounds, ways of knowing, ideas, perspectives, and experiences represented in our community.”
Tettey explained that the strategic plan is essentially a roadmap for the campus, and is able to realize institutional goals at the UTSC level.
The consultation process
The planning process started in November 2018 and involved consultation with over 1,100 community members from on and off of the campus, such as government representatives, alumni, community representatives, and campus partners. The consultations took place in many forms, including town halls, student engagement events, and online feedback.
Eight working groups were also created in the consultation process, each focused on a specific topic, such as “Indigenous Peoples and Truth and Reconciliation” and “Healthy Learning and Working Environments.”
Tettey told The Varsity that consultation allowed for engagement with the tri-campus community. His goal was for students to see themselves and their voices represented in the plan. Overall, he believes that the consultation process “was a great experience to go through… in a way that was truly inclusive.”
Goals of the strategic plan
For the plan’s first priority, a high-quality student experience, UTSC plans to expand residential and athletic facilities and provide more opportunities for student entrepreneurship.
Other priorities include scholarly prominence, intentional inclusion and relational accountability, and enduring local, national, and global partnerships. The fifth and final priority focuses on administrative capacity, and hopes to ensure financial transparency and create academic and operational plans that correspond to the overarching UTSC strategic plan.
Throughout all the priorities, there is an emphasis on settler-Indigenous reconciliation. Some specific goals for the next five years include creating Indigenous spaces and educating faculty, staff, and administrators on “Indigenous protocols, knowledge systems, and histories.”
Tettey added that, overall, this plan will make sure that the UTSC curriculum is inclusive, student-centred, and prepares students for the uncertain world. “We still have work to do,” he said, but noted the impact U of T has as “the most diverse [institution] in Canada.”
Editor’s Note (May 28, 3:41 pm): This article has been updated to clarify the wording around the plan and correct Tettey’s title.