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Here's what you need to know about Laurentian University's 5-year plan

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It’s a hopeful, new beginning or the start of a new chapter for Laurentian University.

On Wednesday morning, school administration unveiled Laurentian’s new five-year strategic plan in a bid to carry the school forward over the next half a decade.

"The views of over 2,500 people contributed to the process,” said interim president and vice-chancellor Sheila Embleton.

"I believe this plan reflects the diversity of the community while bringing together realistic goals that reflect the university’s identity and potential. This plan sets forth a positive path forward through a clearer articulation of who we are, where we are going and the shared priorities."

Embleton spoke to a room full of staff although her comments were broadcast in a town hall to the university community by video.

The new plan identifies a vision, mission, values and four key priorities as the focus of the academic institution along with goals and initiatives to achieve them.

The priorities include enhancing the student experience, energizing the academic and research mission, building up the community Laurentian serves and valuing and supporting its people.

Read more about how the university will approach these goals here (see pages 7-10).

"Through the strategic planning process, we worked hard to identify values that would be important to Laurentian," she said.

"While developing the strategic plan, it was also clear that to a certain extent that the values we were to define would be somewhat aspirational given the harm that the challenges of the last few years have done to our community culture."

It’s also one of the first real directional documents it has issued since emerging from insolvency, short of its transformational plan released last year, that focuses on the future as it looks to leave its financial fallout and prioritizes what it calls 'the leaders of tomorrow.'

"I don’t know of any other university which has undertaken two such huge plans at the same time and really in record speed, working against mandated timelines,” said Embleton.

"So brave to us all in getting it done."

Work on developing the strategic plan first began in July 2023 and featured extensive participation from the Laurentian community.

Officials said there were workshops, consultations, town halls and surveys to organize the feedback gathered from students, staff and faculty.

StrategyCorp was hired as a consultant as it worked to make sense of the input and perspectives of the more than 2,500 people who participated.

It’s already being implemented and school staff say in the coming months, academic and research plans will have an important role in defining how key elements of the strategic plan will be put into place.

Embleton said a lot of the success that school receives will depend on how they can implement the values they are hoping to achieve into action.

Laurentian used the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to declare insolvency in February 2021, which led to layoffs, program cuts and the end of its agreement with federated universities.

Embleton's last day in the interim role of president and vice-chancellor is on Thursday.

The new president, Lynn Wells, is slated to take over the helm on April 1.

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