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Jan. 4, 2019

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The beginning of a new year is a time for making plans and setting goals. At Laurier, this January is particularly notable as we launch the consultation phase of our strategic planning process.

What we learn through the consultation exercises this month will help determine the university’s priorities for the next five years. These high-level priorities will guide how we educate with purpose, engage with our communities, and ensure our graduates are real-world ready.

Throughout January, our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners will have the opportunity to share their thoughts and aspirations for Laurier through an online questionnaire, at World Cafés, and in focus groups. We are asking our community to envision what Laurier will look like in 2030 and what steps we need to take to get there.

January is an ideal time to engage in these consultations as we are naturally inclined to think about the future at the beginning of a new year. I was prompted to think about what this year will bring at the end of December, when Laurier alumna Sandy Pell, who is the founder of Waterloo Region Public Relations, asked me to share my predictions about Waterloo Region for 2019. I am confident that Laurier’s host communities will continue to be magnets for post-secondary students and economic prosperity. Our university will continue to be a key partner in economic development and building vibrant communities through research and outreach.

As we develop our strategic plan in the coming months, our challenge will be to anticipate how the needs of our students and communities will evolve in the months and years to come and to set priorities that will enable us to meet these needs.

I look forward to reviewing all of the input from our consultations with the strategic planning steering committee. The beginning of a new year is an exciting time. For Laurier, the beginning of 2019 is a time for reflection and planning that will lay the foundation for the next many years.

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