Dalhousie

What’s next? 100 Days to “strategic direction”

written by Claire Wählen
January 17, 2014 12:00 pm
Red light means red flags. (Infographic via 100 Days of Listening report)

Red light means red flags. (Infographic via 100 Days of Listening report)

The 100 Days report has come and gone and already Dalhousie president Richard Florizone is back to work. He’s going to be busy in the first half of 2014, creating a budget and a strategic plan to guide the university over the next several years.

By looking at the 100 Days report and the university’s previous strategic plan, it’s not impossible to guess some of what’s coming.
With 100 Days now public, faculties and key members of the community are combing it over. The intention, according to the report, is to collect feedback, debate the finer points, and then draft a tentative plan. It will go to the senate and board of governors for approval by late spring.

“100 Days of Listening was a process of posing initial questions and looking for answers,” says Florizone in his report. “What emerged was a set of draft priorities that could guide us for the next five years. By moving together in this way, from questions to answers and from answers to action, we can achieve great things.”

Those emerging priorities, furthering Dal’s primary tenants of teaching, research and service, will define the university’s next strategic plan, Florizone told the *Gazette.*       Community reaction will play a major role in formulating this document, he added. The goal is to have a plan in action by 2015.

Dalhousie saw its last strategic plan in 2010, under then-president Tom Traves. The plan, to “[become] Canada’s best university,” laid out Traves’ goals for the next three years. The report was a meagre 24 pages, less than a quarter of Florizone’s 100 Days paper, but guided the university in decision-making and budget-building.

Of Traves’ 28 objectives, 20 are on track, six show good progress, but two are far from completion, according to the 100 Days report.

The two problem areas are retention rates and a sustainable pension plan, two issues Florizone will need to tackle in his budget as well as in his strategic plan.

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