Strategic Plan Frequently Asked Questions

    • What are the goals of strategic planning?

      Capilano University’s strategic planning process will articulate the mechanisms by which we deliver on the promises of the Academic Plan, including distinguishing the university from other institutions, sharpening our focus on teaching excellence and ensuring the university is financially sustainable for the long term.

      What is the process for developing the Strategic Plan?

      Our strategic renewal process began with Capilano University’s first Academic Plan, adopted by the Board of Governors in June 2014.  The Academic Plan was developed through an extensive, yearlong community consultation process and charts a course for reimagining Capilano’s future.  Building on the work of the entire community, the Academic Plan is the foundation for the university's new three-year Strategic Plan.

      The strategic planning process is endorsed by the Board of Governors and will be coordinated by Capilano University’s Executive Management team, in concert with a Senate subcommittee of student, staff, faculty and administration representatives (Senate Strategic Planning Advisory Committee or SSPAC).

      Beginning in September, the campus community will be invited to participate in the planning process through a variety of means, including: online information sources; email feedback mechanisms; faculty, staff, and managers’ meetings, and campus “town halls” and forums. A final draft of the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan will be presented at the Board of Governors’ meeting in November.

      What is the timeline for strategic planning?

       

      Milestones Timing
      Communications roll-out to Faculties and departments September 1 - 12
      Strategic Plan status report to Board of Governors September 16
      Strategic Plan drafting September/October

      Strategic Plan forums

      September 8
      (Context for Change)
      12:00 - 1:00 pm
      Sportsplex Multipurpose Room

      September 15
      3:00 - 4:30 pm
      Sportsplex Multipurpose Room

      September 18 (CANCELLED)
      1:00 - 2:30 pm
      Library 321

      September 24
      8:30 - 10:00 am
      Sportsplex Multipurpose Room

      ADDED SESSIONS
      October 6
      12:00 - 1:30 pm
      Sportsplex Multipurpose Room

      October 21
      9:30 - 11:00 am
      Library 322

      Strategic Plan to Senate Delivered October 28
      Discussed November
      Strategic Plan to Board of Governors Delivered November 11
      Discussed November 18
      Town Halls to present Strategic Plan to campus community November/December


      This timeline was discussed during the academic planning process, and enables the campus community to approach the 2015/16 budgeting process with both the Academic Plan and Strategic Plan in mind.

      What will be used to inform the planning process?

      The Strategic Plan will take into consideration a variety of elements, including: community input from the academic planning process; changing student demographics and expectations; local through international market demands; new and emerging learning and teaching innovations; and accreditation standards.

      In addition to all of this, government expectations and influences will continue to hold prominence in terms of ongoing funding reductions, resource reallocation, the Skills for Jobs Blueprint, post-secondary differentiation mandates, restrictions on revenue generation, and the unavailability of reserve funds.  All of these factors contribute to the changing landscape in which the university operates. The Strategic Plan will help to craft Capilano’s response to these realities.

      What is the role of Senate in the strategic planning process?

      Senate has responsibility for educational matters and is advisory to the Board on educational policy. Their participation was integral to the development of the university’s Academic Plan.  This occurred primarily through the Senate Academic Planning Advisory Committee, which was responsible for drafting the plan. As a continuation of this process, Senate has established a Senate Strategic Planning Advisory Committee (SSPAC), made up of the same individuals who crafted the Academic Plan in concert with the Deans, to play the same role in developing Capilano University’s 2015-2018 Strategic Plan.

      Who is on the Senate Strategic Plan Advisory Committee (SSPAC)?

      The Senate Strategic Planning Advisory Committee (SSPAC) is an extraordinary subcommittee of Senate. The members are:

      Michael Fleming (faculty member)
      Kim McLeod (faculty member)
      Darin Feist (staff member)
      Natasha Prakash (student)
      Rick Gale (VP Academic and Provost -- administration)

      This group will work with the Deans, and the VP Academic and Provost will serve as chair.

      What input will be sought from the campus community in the development of the Strategic Plan?

      As with the academic planning process, a website (www.capilanou.ca/about/strategic-planning/Strategic-Planning/) and an email address (strategicplanning@capilanou.ca) have been created to facilitate community input and share information. The Senate Strategic Planning Advisory Committee (SSPAC) will organize campus community forums and provide materials for review and consideration. Updates about the process and community input will be posted regularly.

      Will stakeholders outside of the immediate campus community (e.g. alumni, industry partners) be involved in the development of the Strategic Plan?

      The academic planning process included extensive outreach to the broader community over a much longer period of time. Stakeholders will contribute to and participate in the month-long strategic plan development process through the online mechanisms available to all stakeholders: the strategic planning website and email address strategicplanning@capilanou.ca.

       

      What role will government play in the development of the Strategic Plan?

      Government has no formal role in the development of the Strategic Plan. However, government expectations set the framework under which Capilano will develop its plan. Government will be kept apprised of the strategic planning process and will provide their perspective as and when necessary. The completed Strategic Plan will be submitted to the Ministry of Advanced Education.

      What is the Core Review and how does it relate to the strategic planning process?

      The B.C. government has been evaluating all public sector programs and services through a core review process.  The Ministry of Advanced Education’s core review is intended to: confirm that post-secondary institutions’ programs are operating effectively and efficiently; minimize program overlap across the sector; and, ensure that programs serve to achieve the government’s vision for post-secondary education. Capilano submitted a report outlining its contribution to education in British Columbia to the Minister of Advanced Education in the spring of 2014.  The Ministry’s response will be one of the inputs to our strategic planning process.

      What will be included in the final Strategic Plan document?

      The advisory committee will determine what elements they consider necessary in the Strategic Plan to enable the university to implement potential changes effectively. Given the categories featured in the Academic Plan (principles, programming, support) and the strategic directions outlined in the document, it is expected that the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan will address at least some of these items. Updates about the plan will be posted at (www.capilanou.ca/about/strategic-planning/Strategic-Planning/).

      Will the Strategic Plan include a business case for the changes that are proposed?

      The 2015-2018 Strategic Plan will articulate the elements that are integral to the defining experiences of a Capilano education. It will also identify changes required to provide resources for programs and services in alignment with our renewed academic profile. Potential changes will be explored with consideration to cost implications, human resource impacts, timing and other operational factors.

      How will the unions be engaged in the development of the Strategic Plan?

      All members of the campus community will be invited to participate in forums hosted by the Senate Strategic Planning Advisory Committee (SSPAC), and each of Capilano’s three unions (CFA, COPE, and CSU) have been consulted in an effort to make this process as collaborative as possible.  The committee will use the forums and the strategic planning website (http://www.capilanou.ca/about/strategic-planning/Strategic-Planning/) to share materials for review and consideration by stakeholders.  Updates about the process and community input will also be posted to the website regularly.

       

      Can we expect job losses as a result of the Strategic Plan?

      For the past several years, the university has been faced with making cuts to achieve a balanced budget.  Ongoing reductions in annual funding from government, together with government’s intention to further align funding with skills-for-jobs training, mean that Capilano will continue to experience budget shortfalls.  Because employee salaries make up the largest proportion of the university’s annual budget, impacts to jobs are inevitable.  Continuing to address these funding realities through annual cuts is neither acceptable nor sustainable.  Capilano University must reimagine its future. The Academic Plan sets the foundation and the Strategic Plan will launch the university’s renewal.  No doubt our transition to this new future will result in significant change to the organization.  It will mean that some jobs will come to an end and new jobs will be created.  The Strategic Plan will help the university lead the necessary changes, rather than have change imposed by external influences.

      How will the Strategic Plan be used to develop the 2015/16 budget?

      When complete, the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan will identify those characteristics that are integral to our academic profile.  A clear vision for the future will help functional areas determine where to focus, how best to prioritize their efforts and align resources.  It is expected that the Senate Budget Advisory Committee will look to the Strategic Plan for guidance as they prepare for the 2015/16 budget discussions, and the strategic planning timeline is constructed accordingly.

      The Strategic Plan will take three years to implement. How do we manage our budget shortfall next year?

      Complete implementation of the Strategic Plan will be over three years, but it will begin guiding our work in January 2015.  The 2015-2018 Strategic Plan will play an important part in budget decision-making going forward. Understanding the university’s long term goals will help functional areas make choices about resource allocation, and determine the best strategies to address budget shortfalls in the short term.

      When will we know how Faculties and functional areas will be impacted?

      The final Strategic Plan will be presented to the Board of Governors for adoption in November and shared with the broader campus community through town hall events in November and December. The Strategic Plan will outline priority initiatives to be implemented between 2015 and 2018. Detailed impacts will be addressed by individual departments and Faculties as part of their operational planning and budget development processes.

      How will functional areas engage in the implementation of the Strategic Plan?

      Capilano University’s Executive Management team will lead their areas in the development of operational plans that align with the university’s 2015-2018 Strategic Plan.  Progress on the implementation of the Strategic Plan will be regularly monitored by the Executive Management team.  The Board of Governors will receive progress reports from the President at monthly board meetings.

      How will Capilano be affected by the B.C. government’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint?

      The B.C. government’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint outlines government’s intention to focus resources on education to create job-ready graduates, particularly in the area of skilled trades. Government’s priority in this regard is one of the factors that Capilano will consider in its strategic planning process.

      How can individuals contribute to the development of the Strategic Plan?

      As with the academic planning process, community consultation will take many forms.  Individuals can contribute via campus mail (to the Office of the Vice President Academic and Provost) or email (to strategic planning@capilanou.ca), and by participating in one of the many campus forums scheduled throughout September and October. Everyone is welcome to attend the strategic planning forums, where the Senate Strategic Planning Advisory Committee (SSPAC) will share their work on the strategic plan and provide opportunities for questions, comments, and discussion. The committee will use the contributions from all venues to inform their development of the Strategic Plan.

      What is the deadline for input and feedback to the strategic plan development process?

      The Senate Strategic Planning Advisory Committee (SSPAC) will continue to receive input until 4 pm on Friday, October 24th. The final draft of Cap’s 2015-2018 Strategic Plan will need to be ready for Senate on October 28th and for the Board of Governors on November 11th.

      When will we know how functional areas will be impacted?

      The final Strategic Plan will be presented to the Board of Governors for adoption in November and shared with the broader campus community through town hall events in November and December.  It will outline priority initiatives to be implemented between 2015 and 2018. Functional areas will address detailed impacts as part of their operational planning and budget development processes.
    • Definitions

    • What is experiential learning?

      Experiential learning occurs when a student is directly involved in a learning experience rather than being the recipient of ready-made content delivery.  Experiential learning is found in virtually all of Cap’s programs and represents a cornerstone of our pedagogy, and our planning for the future.

      What is the Cap year?

      The Cap Year, as proposed and outlined in the Academic Plan, is a dedicated one-year curriculum that provides interested students with a shared first year experience organized around a specific theme or agenda.  It will include a common curriculum and extracurricular support, and will be designed to build on what makes Capilano University distinctive.  The Cap Year offers an attractive, purposeful alternative to the “gap year” many students seek before beginning their post-secondary journey.  It might focus on social action and community engagement or global affairs or study abroad.  It could be designed as a foundation year of preparatory studies to increase the likelihood of success at university, or a dedicated entry program to help international students transition into Canadian advanced education. It would not be required or take the place of general education, but the Cap Year could provide a venue for much of the programming Capilano values. The first Cap Year experience is expected to be piloted in 2015.

      What is a capstone course or project?

      Often referred to as “senior capstones”, these culminating experiences require students nearing the end of their time at university to create a project that integrates and applies what they’ve learned, looking back at their accomplishments and forward to their future. The project might be a research paper, a performance, a portfolio of “best work,” or an exhibit of artwork; it might be focused on making sense of a student’s academic journey or preparing for a particular career path. Capstones are offered both in departmental programs and, increasingly, in general education as well.

      What is a teaching university?

      There are two primary types of universities in British Columbia: teaching and research. What distinguishes one from the other is their teaching, scholarship, and service. Research universities exist to create new knowledge--as such they devote much of their attention to fostering, supporting, and promoting scholarship. This focus manifests in specific approaches to student recruitment and retention, degree offerings at the undergraduate and graduate levels, faculty roles and rewards, administrative responsibilities and structures, fundraising and new product development. Teaching universities exist to serve the educational needs of students--as such they devote much of their attention to fostering, supporting, and promoting learning. This focus manifests in specific approaches to student access and success, teaching and learning excellence, active and experiential pedagogical and assessment approaches, faculty support and expectations, administrative accountability for outcomes and competencies, community engagement and service.

      What does trans-disciplinary mean?

      The Academic Plan refers to Capilano University’s goal of making more courses trans-disciplinary, meaning that students work across multiple disciplinary boundaries to create a more complete picture, a more unified understanding of a specific topic or issue.  For example, success can be viewed from many different perspectives. Approached from biology, success is about adaptation and the perpetuation of an organism. Biology combined with psychology might examine success in terms of the traits that go into selecting a mate or partner.  Biology, psychology, sociology, political science and history taken together could address success in terms of eugenics, propaganda, or nation building.  The options are infinite, and the learning outcomes for students can be profound.