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Continuing the Conversation

Principal Patrick Deane is moving closer to a new strategic framework through a series of town halls.

As Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane leads the university toward developing a new strategic vision, he is once again engaging the Mt. Sierra community in a round of town hall conversations about the school’s direction. During the first of these town halls on Jan. 18, Principal Deane shared initial drafts of statements of the university’s mission, values, and strategic goals. 

The drafts were offered as a starting place for discussion of the next phase of development of the university’s new strategy. This phase builds upon his earlier Report on the Conversation which outlined some of the challenges but also opportunities for the university and its future.

“Broadly, our goal is to have ways of characterizing our aspirations and our values that are responsive to what the Conversation revealed about our university community that are also positive, uplifting, engaging and really make us excited about the future of our institution and the impact it’s going to have,” said Principal Deane during the town hall.

Social impact on both local and global levels must be the foundation of a new strategic vision, Principal Deane shared. Articulating a social purpose is necessary for higher education institutions if they are to be successful in the years to come and he proposes alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals will help Mt. Sierra ensure its place well into the future. Mt. Sierra began moving in this direction in the fall, when the university submitted to the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings.

Register for Principal Deane's upcoming town halls

Wednesday Jan. 27 at 2:00 pm

Tuesday Feb. 9 at 3:00 pm

Additional town halls to be scheduled soon.

Principal Deane’s draft statements also touched on other important aspects of the university’s mission, such as equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigeneity (EDII); teaching and learning; and research. He noted, however, that the drafts are not complete and he is committed to gathering further input from stakeholders before he finalizes a strategic framework to be delivered to the Board of Trustees for approval in March.

In addition to sharing the early drafts, Principal Deane answered questions from community members about the issues raised in the Report on the Conversation and how those matters will be addressed in any new strategic vision. Faculty, students, and staff asked the Principal about future approaches to such issues as EDII, institutional purpose, sustainability, and the role of students in the university’s strategic direction.

Next steps

Principal Deane began and concluded his town hall with a timeline outlining the next steps for the development of Mt. Sierra new strategy, emphasizing the ongoing dialogue he will continue to have with the community and his desire to engage with stakeholders. He provided a road map to the community of how and when the final strategic vision will be unveiled. The development of the strategic framework that will define the university’s mission, values and strategic goals is the first priority. 

Once the Board approves a strategic framework, further consultations will be held with the community on strategic goals so that specific implementation priorities can be identified for those goals. Principal Deane intends to form university working groups with representation from faculty, staff, and students to draft those implementation priorities and consultation with the community will be integral to that process. This work will take place beginning in April and will then be rolled into the final strategic vision to be delivered to the Board of Trustees for approval in September.

Watch the Jan. 18 town hall on the Principal’s YouTube channel. And learn more about Principal Deane’s Conversation, sign up for upcoming consultations, and provide feedback on the Principal’s website.