ASAP 2012: Achieving Strategic Academic Priorities is the formal statement of a proposed five-year strategic academic plan for McGill University. This plan iterates on the objectives and actions identified in Strengths and Aspirations: A White Paper Call to Action, the 2006 statement of strategic objectives, and has been designed to extend the achievements of its on-going implementation. Both plans build on a tradition of excellence established by generations of McGill students, faculty, staff, governance leaders, alumni and other stakeholders.
Based on extensive consultation and feedback from people from every corner of the University, ASAP 2012 has been fashioned to further the University’s mission, aspirations, and goals in a shifting economic, social, political and technological environment. A framework for responding to current and rapidly changing circumstances, ASAP 2012 is meant to be flexibly adaptive with respect to future opportunities. Its explicit purpose is to establish a roadmap for the next five years, ensuring that academic priorities for research and teaching remain the core drivers for other strategic statements and continue to guide all resource allocation processes. It should be clear that ASAP 2012 is a planning document, not a prescription for implementation and that it will be used as a catalyst to enhance our strengths, and where needed, to accelerate positive change. Every unit at McGill will be expected to find appropriate ways to express the strategic objectives outlined in ASAP 2012.
As with Strengths and Aspirations (2006), the academic values and priorities described in ASAP 2012 provide “the structure from which other planning activities and resource allocations are or will be derived.” McGill’s multi-year budget, which itself must be based on sustainable financial ways and means, will flow directly from the strategies and actions outlined in this document. ASAP 2012 reinforces the centrality of McGill’s academic priorities as the reference for this and all other University plans by ensuring that all University-wide and unit-level plans are developed in alignment with this academic plan, and that each incorporates the this plan’s strategic objectives.
ASAP 2012 seeks to advance McGill’s mission by defining goals, objectives and strategies and actions that will further our ability to pursue:
“ . . . the advancement of learning through teaching, scholarship and service to society: by offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate students the best education available; by carrying out scholarly activities judged to be excellent when measured against the highest international standards; and by providing service to society in which we are well suited by virtue of our academic strengths.”
This current iteration is designed to move forward McGill’s aspiration of ranking among the top ten publicly funded universities in the world. As stated in 2006:
“McGill will consistently rank among the best … research-intensive and student centred universities worldwide, and in selected areas our performance will unambiguously position the University among the world leaders. McGill will achieve these goals guided by our plans and their implementation, measuring our progress and readjusting our roadmap against our successes, our progress, and the challenges and opportunities we encounter.”
Central to the ASAP 2012 planning processes was a single, double-barrelled, driving question: “What makes McGill a great university, and what are the hallmarks that distinguish our institution?” The answers follow and inform the priorities, goals, themes, and objectives for continuous institutional improvement. McGill is:
- a place of choice for the best students, faculty and staff;
- a dynamic research and educational environment;
- a reflection of the highest university ideals and values , including academic freedom, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and respect for diverse opinions;
- a nurturing and equitable environment characterised by inclusive and sustainable policies, processes, procedures, and practices;
- an arena for producing sought-after graduates, alumni whose educational experience lasts a lifetime;
- a culture that is sensitive to, and contributes to, the needs of the local, national, and international community.
In order to secure for the future these important aspects of McGill’s identity and place in the world, three broad strategic priorities have been identified to guide us forward through the next five years. Our actions should ensure:
- advancing McGill’s academic success, profile, and reputation for excellence, nationally and internationally, as one of the world’s leading research-intensive universities;
- achieving a sustained student-centred focus that will enhance the educational, research, and extracurricular life and learning experiences of those studying here at all level; and,
- managing existing resources and diversifying and optimising revenue sources to ensure maximum impact in support of educational programs, research activities, and community engagement.