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November 29, 2014
 
 
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Board of Governors approves Laurier vision statement

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Nov 21/08

“Our commitment is to justice and sustainability now and in the future, so we strive to ignite the minds, spirits and hearts of our communities through excellence in teaching and learning, in the discovery, scholarly exploration, and application of new ideas, and in instilling the courage to engage and challenge the world in all its complexity.”

 

WATERLOO — After 12 months of research, discussion and consultation, Wilfrid Laurier University has a new vision to guide its development over the next 30 years.

The university Board of Governors gave approval this week to a new vision statement and a new mission statement, as well as related statements of shared values and guiding principles. Senate endorsed a draft version of the statements earlier and suggested changes in wording that were incorporated into the final documents approved by the Board.

“I am delighted with the outcome of the visioning process,” said Laurier president Dr. Max Blouw. “Laurier has undergone rapid growth and change over the past decade. This vision statement, along with the consultation and collaboration that have gone into it, will provide an enduring guide as we chart our way forward while striving to preserve Laurier’s core strengths, values and principles.

“I would like to thank everyone who participated,” he continued. “We kept to the timelines set out 12 months ago and, while it may have seemed at times like a long process, I believe that the investment in time and effort will yield long-term benefits for the entire Laurier community. I look forward now to each of the functional areas of Laurier taking this vision and using it to make choices as they create strategic plans for the immediate future.”

Dr. Theresa Libby and Dr. Mary-Louise Byrne, who co-chaired the Senate committee that oversaw the visioning initiative, said the consultation process clearly indicated that people value Laurier’s rich sense of community and its commitment to the relationship between teaching, scholarship and research.

“The new vision statement is a reflection of the importance we all place on Laurier’s sense of community and our willingness to be involved in ensuring the long-term success of our university,” said Dr. Libby.

Added Dr. Byrne: “We certainly heard a diverse range of opinions about what Laurier is and what it should become, but there was a common passion around our distinct sense of community and the university’s commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship and research.”

Laurier’s new vision statement reads:

“Our commitment is to justice and sustainability now and in the future, so we strive to ignite the minds, spirits and hearts of our communities through excellence in teaching and learning, in the discovery, scholarly exploration, and application of new ideas, and in instilling the courage to engage and challenge the world in all its complexity.”

The full visioning document, including mission statement, shared values and guiding principles, can be found by clicking here.

Dr. Blouw said the vision statement must be seen as an over-arching guide rather than a specific action plan. The next step is to use the vision as a guide to immediate strategic planning.

Dr. Blouw launched the visioning initiative in fall 2007 after first seeking a mandate from the Board of Governors. The aim of the consultative project was to assess the effects of rapid growth of the university over the past decade, to identify Laurier’s core values and strengths, and to develop a vision statement to guide the future direction of the university over the next 30 years.

From the start, Dr. Blouw stressed the importance of giving ownership of the initiative to the Laurier community. He asked that a special committee of Senate be struck, with representation from faculty, staff, students, alumni and the Board of Governors, to decide how best to solicit input and recommend a vision statement and an accompanying statement of values and principles.
 
The Senate Envisioning Laurier Committee was launched in November 2007 with instructions to report back with a recommendation by November, 2008.Over the past 12 months, the committee solicited opinions and encouraged discussion in numerous ways, from surveys to workshops and an online forum. The committee was assisted by The Strategic Counsel, a national market-research firm that carried out a comprehensive research project for the university between April and November. The purpose of the Strategic Counsel work is twofold: first, to provide information that would assist the Senate committee in developing a vision statement; and second, to establish benchmarking data that can be used to measure the university’s progress toward goals that will eventually flow from the vision statement.
 
As the Senate committee began finalizing its work, members decided that a revised mission statement should be included along with the vision statement and accompanying statements of shared values and guiding principles. The committee tabled its recommended wording in Senate on October 16. At its next meeting, Senate discussed and endorsed the vision statement and related statements, on the understanding that a number of changes in wording be recommended to the Board of Governors.

The Board gave its approval at a meeting November 20.

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