Three Priorities: Memorandum

Memorandum to:

Governing Council
Academic Board
Business Board
University Affairs Board
UTM Campus Council
UTSC Campus Council
Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
Faculty & Staff
Research Associates and Senior Research Associates
President of UTFA
Presidents of Employee Unions
Presidents of APUS, GSU, SCSU, UTSU and UTMSU
President of UTAA

From: Meric Gertler, President

Date: October 2, 2015

Re: Three Priorities: A Discussion Paper

In my Installation Address, I articulated Three Priorities for the University of Toronto:

  1. Leverage our urban location(s) more fully, for the mutual benefit of University and City
  2. Strengthen and deepen key international partnerships by means of a well-defined strategic focus
  3. Re-imagine and reinvent undergraduate education

The Three Priorities process accepts the goals from the University’s Towards 2030 plan as its starting point and seeks to reach consensus on how we achieve these goals in light of new opportunities and challenges. The Towards 2030 exercise engaged the entire University community in an extensive, year-long consultation and deliberation process, and its continuing relevance has been reaffirmed in both The View from 2012 exercise and the Presidential search process. As a community, we are united by our commitment to these ideals.

Since my Installation, I have had numerous opportunities to speak about these priorities – at meetings of the Governing Council and its various committees, during visits to individual campuses, academic divisions and departments, and in public speeches to groups such as the Toronto Region Board of Trade and the Empire Club.  I have welcomed invitations to present these ideas, and have done so in 24 sessions representing all five estates (faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the community) and attended by more than 2,000 members of the University community. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, suggesting a widespread appetite for further discussion and development of these ideas in an appropriately interactive and consultative way.

With this in mind, I have written a Discussion Paper whose purpose is to offer more detailed consideration of each of these Three Priorities, while also reflecting the feedback received thus far.  It is designed to stimulate further discussion and response amongst faculty, staff, and students across the University with the aim of achieving consensus and alignment. And, in so doing, develop coherent strategies to support each priority, while signalling our ambitions to key partners—alumni, donors, government agencies and community organizations—and soliciting their input.  Included in the Discussion Paper is a Summary Framework.  I intend to seek endorsement of the Summary Framework at the December 2015 meeting of the Governing Council following consideration by Planning & Budget as well as Academic Board. In addition to all the activity already undertaken, this will allow us to move forward as a community on setting goals and milestones, and having each division embrace these priorities as they see fit.  Any feedback on this stage of the consultation process is most welcome.  To this end, you are encouraged to send your comments, questions, and ideas to