The University of Toronto Mississauga’s Strategic Framework was developed collaboratively between July 2020 and February 2022, amid waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. The public health crisis informed the development of the framework, emphasizing for our community the importance of a balance, between careful planning and principled flexibility–between willingness to adapt and a commitment to our values. That balance is one that serves UTM and the University of Toronto especially well. From the discovery of insulin a hundred years ago to the present day, our university makes its greatest impact through a mode of learning that remains focused but not fixed, always ready to break new ground as new evidence emerges.
UTM’s Strategic Framework provides focus for our campus and its partners. It expresses core priorities and commitments that will strengthen consensus, inspire action and guide investment. But it also designs room for change, giving our community the flexibility to realize our priorities in many ways— including in ways that we haven’t yet imagined. It accepts that the future holds challenges and chances for which we can’t always plan. But it also refuses to accept that uncertainty entails inaction: it sets the priorities that will inform our decisions, giving us a mechanism to understand new opportunities even before they arise.
In balancing structure with agility, this framework also signals its role in our institutional history. The framework represents the culmination of earlier exercises in long-term planning at UTM and across the tricampus U of T. In developing it, we draw from the campus-specific visions articulated in:
We build on U of T-wide plans also, among them the:
- 2015 Presidential Priorities
- 2018 Four Corners Framework
- 2018 Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- 2018 Strategic Research Plan
- 2019 Report on Student Mental Health
- 2019 Low Carbon Action Plan
- 2021 Commitments against Anti-Black Racism and Anti-Semitism
Collectively, these plans provide recommendations for action, targets for progress and deadlines for implementation. UTM’s Strategic Framework takes a different approach. It seizes the opportunity to unify existing campus and U of T-wide goals into a common narrative. It provides a shared language with which to communicate our aspirations to internal and external stakeholders and makes transparent how we intend to reach decisions and identify areas for additional support and growth.
The framework articulates our existing plans’ collective purpose, sharing an account of what we do. It also encourages ongoing reflection on our plans’ success and prepares our community for those times when plans need to change. The framework will be UTM’s guide for continuous planning.
As an expression of UTM’s vision and adaptability, this framework has professional relevance for our librarians, faculty and staff, who can use it to focus their efforts; to inform their departmental or office commitments; and to see how individual contributions build toward collective aspirations. The framework matters for our students, too. It prioritizes student success, inclusion and support. It imagines our students growing into a future better than the present: more truthful, more sustainable, more innovative, more just. The framework describes a world in which our students will assert their place and make their mark: in which they can flourish personally and professionally and help others to flourish, too. It articulates our responsibility to the next generation, of which our students comprise an essential part: that the linked aspects of a UTM education—teaching, research, administration, connections, services and supports—will build toward a future that they will find worth fighting for.