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Guiding Principles

ASAP 2012 has been developed in accordance with the following guiding principles:

  • wide-ranging consultation with the McGill community to produce a clear, easily communicated and shared vision;
  • frequent opportunities to communicate on draft proposals and to incorporate of feedback into an evolving plan and its possible implementation process;
  • clear and precise strategic priorities that would be designed to be easily integrated within a multi-year and sustainable budget and compact processes;
  • recognition of the need for unbiased analysis and measurement that will reinforce understanding of trade-offs and contradictions;
  • coordination with recommendations from other University task forces and planning exercises, including
    • the Principal’s Task Force on Student Life and Learning at McGill (December 2006) and its administrative response;1
    • McGill’s Strategic Research Plan (2008)2 and its current iteration;3
    • Principal’s Task Force on Diversity, Excellence and Community Engagement (2011),4
    • Campaign McGill and other fund-raising initiatives,5
    • McGill University Physical Master Plan (2008) and Vision 2020,6
    • the Strategic Enrolment Management (SEM) Plan (March 2011);7
  • acknowledgment that strategic planning must position McGill to advance within changing natural, cultural, and economic environments.

In concert with these principles, ASAP 2012 is meant to further the University’s mission, aspirations and progress by identifying high-level strategies that can be interpreted and expressed in local contexts; by recognizing that academic priorities must drive the University’s sustainable, multi-year financial plans and budget allocation decisions and that all other strategic planning at the University must be consonant with the academic priorities identified in ASAP 2012; and by providing a roadmap that sustains and advances University leadership among the world’s great universities.

ASAP 2012 is supported by an approach developed as part of a “Strategic Reframing Initiative” (SRI), a series of administrative enhancement projects launched in October 2010 to boost levels of quality, performance and overall efficiency in operations. By exploring deeply HOW we should do the things we CHOOSE to do, the SRI helped to design a deep systematic process for the management of change. The SRI offers a distinctive methodology aimed at streamlining and modernizing administrative processes and operations, reducing bureaucracy, and acquiring new resources and making better use of existing resources.8 In short, while ASAP 2012 advances the WHAT of McGill’s strategic academic planning, the SRI provides explicit guidance about HOW to address our ambitions. The most significant of these projects for present purposes aims to forge a tight integration between planning and budgeting on the one hand, and financial services, support, and systems on the other hand, in order to reinforce the allocation model driven by academic priorities and guided by the Office of the Provost.

In addition, for purposes of management and governance as well as compliance and reporting, McGill has developed an accompanying series of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to document and measure, inform, and appraise progress,  “an important expression of our accountability to those we serve.”9 These indicators help us in measuring our institutional performance against McGill’s Quebec, Canadian, and international peers. Other academic analytics and processes, including a recently redesigned policy and procedure for the cyclical review of academic units (soon to be expanded to administrative units as well), have institutionalised the practice of routine self-study, benchmarking, and analysis with which to measure and improve progress.


1 http://www.mcgill.ca/principal/focus/final/; http://www.mcgill.ca/files/provost/PTF_SLL_Final_Administrative_Response_27NOV07.pdf
2 http://www.mcgill.ca/files/strategic/McGill_University_SRP_10032008.pdf
3  Three strategic objectives will guide the implementation process: http://www.mcgill.ca/research/sites/mcgill.ca.research/files/srp_draft_august_20_2012_online_consultation_final_0.pdf
4 http://www.mcgill.ca/files/principal/PTFDECE-ReportFinal.pdf; https://secureweb.mcgill.ca/senate/sites/mcgill.ca.senate/files/d11-60_admin_response_to_ptfdece.pdf
5 http://www.mcgill.ca/campaign/
6 https://secureweb.mcgill.ca/campusplanning/sites/mcgill.ca.campusplanning/files/2008_master_plan_principles_report_-_final.pdf  and Vision 2020
7 https://secureweb.mcgill.ca/senate/sites/mcgill.ca.senate/files/D10-50StrategicEnrolmentManagementPlan.pdf
8 http://www.mcgill.ca/sri/why-sri-matters
9 http://www.mcgill.ca/principals-report-09