Laurentian introduces strategic plan

By Kallie Berens

Laurentian’s official strategic plan for 2012 to 2017 was formally presented in the Alumni Hall on Feb. 6. Only five pages long, the strategy plan contains forty key points designed to “shape Laurentian,” according to Laurentian University President and Vice-Chancellor Dominic Giroux.

“My immediate emotion is excitement, and at the same time it’s pride,” said Jean-Paul Rains, alumni and current social media coordinator for Laurentian University.

The forty key points are grouped under five categories: student engagement and satisfaction, national recognition, university of choice, community responsiveness and organizational excellence.

“I was glad to see that there is a fairly comprehensive plan,” said senator Zachary Courtemanche, who was a student member of the steering committee involved in the planning process. “You do see a lot of academic material, and you see a lot of campus-focused, student- focused and community presence initiatives which was good to see as well.”

20 consultations took place in the Spring, and 20 finalized consultations took place in the Fall of 2011. Specific consultations took place for “students, staff, faculty, community members and with partners in Barrie,” said Rains. “There’s a huge process that took quite a while with a lot of contributors.” Rains also said that the staff consultations were “packed.”

One element in the strategy in every building. plan includes the reintroduction of In addition to

varsity men’s and women’s hockey teams at Laurentian.

“We had a sign up sheet and that was one of the pages that team members on the committee put their names down for, and it was top of the line for some people,” Rains said. “It’s a big win for us but also for the people of Sudbury.”

The last time Laurentian had a varsity hockey team was in 2001.

“It’s something that is in our nature and culture to have at the university, and we have so many talented hockey players in the region that want to come to school at Laurentian but want to continue their hockey careers – now they will be able to continue both in Sudbury,” said Rains.“For us it’s really taking advantage of everything we already have and just putting it together.”

David Robinson, an Economics professor, thinks that the strategy plan “is the most successful of them all,” and adds that key points that put an emphasis on the school of mines and ecology programs “are all solid identity choices that no one has had the nerve to make before.”

More information about the School of Mines was released with the strategic plan. The school, announced in 2011, is now seeking a founding director to replace theinterimdirector,Dr.Francois Caron.

A plan was also put in place to turn the entire university campus “wireless,” giving all students access to secure wireless internet

make Laurentian “100 per cent wireless,” other technologically- inclined points, such as using new IT programs, were laid out in the plan.

Laurentian also plans to open a “front door/welcoming centre, with effective signage in French, English, Ojibway,” as part of the aspiration to continue “attracting the best students, staff and faculty from across Ontario and around the world.”

Another point to help bring forth that aspiration is the plan to increase international enrollment from 6.1 per cent in 2011 to 8 per cent by 2017.

Although a new strategic plan is announced every five years, Rains says that this strategic plan is different from the others laid out at different universities. “What sets our strategic plan apart from the others is that we have measurable outcomes,”saidRains, saying that having these measures in place keeps the university “on track.”

This refers to the 40 specific targets outlined in the plan, under the five pressure points. With each pressure point, there are “aspirations,” followed by a plan to have these fulfilled by 2017.

The strategic plan can be found in full on Laurentian’s website, located at strategicplan.