University of Saskatchewan

U of S Reports

Message from the Provost

I am pleased to share with you this report on progress toward the goals of the Second Integrated Plan.

On May 1, 2008, we began the year with a new plan that has three priorities – improve the student experience; enhance the university’s profile of research, scholarly and artistic work; and work together better across boundaries.  We have made remarkable progress despite a challenging environment.

On everyone’s minds is the effect of the global market downturn on universities and organizations everywhere, including the University of Saskatchewan. While some financial challenges lie ahead, our robust planning process helps us respond to the global economic situation and positions us to emerge comparatively stronger. Because of planning, we know what our priorities are – we know where to invest our available resources, and how to move forward and innovate even in a downturn.  

Looking back over 2008-09, there was significant activity and achievement in all three priority areas as well as in the supporting strategies (capital, financial, people, and quality and accountability). The accomplishments to date are wide-ranging and involve many units and individuals of the university, although a few priority areas that received significant investment and attention are worth noting:

  • Graduate programs, scholarships and the new interdisciplinary graduate schools
  • Major capital projects and upgrades for students and for research
  • Improvements to the first-year experience for students
  • Experiential and innovative learning opportunities

We have learned from our experience with the university’s First Integrated Plan. Today, we are further along and have seen more visible results than we had at this point in the process last time. This would not have been possible without the university community’s support and hard work.

A new collaborative model for implementing the plan was launched in 2008, which brought together faculty, staff and administrators from across campus to lead each of the plan’s 20 commitments.  Early signs indicate that the model is working – we have seen considerable environmental scanning activity, as well as innovation and collaboration between commitment leaders and colleges and units this year. We are getting better at thinking big, at thinking about the university as a whole, and at connecting our unit-level activities with university-wide ones.

I am encouraged by the noticeable enthusiasm for the university’s plans and directions that arose this past year, and I anticipate this will continue as we move into our second year of this planning cycle.

With that, I invite you to continue reading to learn more about our accomplishments so far and to see a place for your contribution and participation as we go forward.

Brett Fairbairn
Provost and Vice-President Academic