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Strategic planning process

Creating a new vision for the University of Victoria has been an exciting opportunity for our community to come together to discuss what the future might hold and how UVic can position itself well for that future.

UVic’s next strategic plan is currently being developed using your ideas and engagement, while weaving our institutional plans together to present an ambitious and aspirational vision. It will highlight where we want UVic to be in 30 years and establish an initial 5-year action plan for achieving our vision.

Originally posted in February 2022

The new strategic plan will offer high-level commitments based on our community’s shared goals and values and specific directions for how we will get there together. The strategy will set our university on a successful path.

This is a project that will need input from our entire community! Together we can determine the kind of university we want UVic to be in the coming decades.

Our current strategic framework (2018-2023) has served us well but is nearing the end of its time period.

When it was developed, we could not have envisioned needing to weather a devastating global pandemic. We had no sense of just how quickly we would need to respond to its many challenges. We could not have predicted the significant and enduring changes the pandemic has made to our work.  

When the strategic framework was created, our communities had yet to experience the alarming weather events of this past year. We had yet to feel the heart-wrenching effects of the location of unmarked graves sites on residential school grounds.

These deeply troubling experiences have prompted people all over the world to re-imagine and redefine what is important and to refocus on creating a better and more equitable society. Our communities need social change desperately, including change for climate action, truth, respect and reconciliation, and inclusion and anti-racism. UVic can and should respond to these challenges.

The economic burden of the pandemic will be felt for generations to come and we must define our role as a university in driving the clean economy of the future. This will require innovation in the type and way we deliver training, skills and knowledge and support for research that will address the most pressing social, environmental and economic challenges.

The University of Victoria is ready for a renewed vision and to take smart risks in a post pandemic landscape. We can be a key contributor in a digital world, enhance our reputation as a thought leader and deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, all while diversifying our revenue base and increasing our interdisciplinarity. 

This university can be an innovator in our region and a huge asset in our nation’s economic recovery, societal progress and cultural enrichment.

So, let’s respond boldly to the opportunity before us to create the UVic of the 21st century. Let’s be an uplifting and hopeful beacon for society that contribute to the world around us and a university that makes it graduates proud. Let's dream big about our future together!


Kevin Hall, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor

A new institutional strategic vision and plan is needed to address the changing landscape of post-secondary education both nationally and globally, and to respond to the evolving opportunities and challenges for UVic.

We live in an age of rapid social, economic and technological change. The challenges facing our university and region require imaginative thinking and new solutions. We need to colour outside the lines.

Our university cannot afford to be complacent and rest on our existing strengths in this volatile environment.

There has been explosive growth in the number and complexity of universities worldwide over the last several decades.

Given the enormous range of post-secondary choices we need to confidently communicate UVic’s distinctive strengths to prospective and talented students, faculty and staff, philanthropists, decision-makers and potential partners. With so many universities around the world competing, it can be easy to get lost in the myriad of choices.

In our tightly connected world, technology and the digital economy continue to transform our daily lives and challenge the concepts of place-based education.

The problems we face are without borders. They challenge us to be more ambitious and collaborative in our research and more conscious of how we prepare our students.

We must continue to amplify the impact of our research enterprise to respond to immediate challenges. We must drive innovation, create partnerships and nurture the next generation of leaders, thinkers and citizens. We must strive to be relevant to our own local communities, while also making an impact globally.

In global terms, our federal and provincial governments provide relatively strong support to the post-secondary sector. However, when measured against inflation, the level of public financial support for universities is not increasing. Canada’s aging population will continue to put pressure on our scarce public resources. As a result, we are progressively more reliant on resources gathered through partnerships, student tuition, and entrepreneurial and philanthropic strategies.

We also need to be aware of the high expectations and heightened concern for transparency and accountability. Universities are among the most trusted public institutions in society, and we need to work to keep that trust. Trust is the foundation for our autonomy and for our ability to work for the benefit of society.

UVic’s next strategic vision and plan will be formed from the views and ideas of our communities on and off campus. Over the coming months, there will be a wide range of opportunities to provide your ideas as together we develop our next strategic vision and plan. 

We are excited to be hosting multiple town hall meetings for staff and faculty, and attending Faculty and division meetings across campus. There will be interactive experience booths, social media and photo-story engagement, and small group kitchen table discussions. We will be engaging with students, staff and faculty using an inclusive digital engagement tool – Bang the Table.

The ideas you share will help form broad themes that we will focus on in the next phase of the planning and engagement process. We will share these themes with the university community in the spring and we look forward to hearing from you again at that time to develop targeted strategies to advance them.


The process for developing a new strategic vision and plan for UVic will run to the end of 2022.

  • Phase 1: Pre-Engagement planning and preliminary consultations with local Indigenous communities, UVic leaders and governance bodies – Fall 2021
  • Phase 2: Broad-based engagement with students, staff and faculty to gather ideas and identify themes – Winter & Spring 2022
  • Phase 3: Consult on key themes and engage with external stakeholders – Spring to Fall 2022
  • Phase 4: Draft plan and develop reporting structure – Fall 2022
  • Phase 5: Approval and launch of the plan – Early 2023

Engagement objectives

  1. All students, staff, and faculty can participate.
  2. There are multiple ways to participate that are accessible and equitable.
  3. Data from engagement can be effectively analyzed and meaningfully inform the process.
  4. At the end of the process, people feel they have contributed while also learning.
  5. Students, staff and faculty feel a sense of pride and ownership in the strategic vision and plan.

Engagement principles

The following principles will guide how we plan, communicate and implement our engagement process.

  • Accessibility in how everyone can participate, providing multiple ways to give input.
  • Transparency in how the feedback will be used to inform the Strategic Plan and be clear where there is room for public influence.
  • Empathy in how we facilitate engagement activities, encouraging participants to think beyond their individual interests and understand the implications of these decisions.
  • Equity in hearing from groups who have not typically been represented in decision-making processes.
  • Continuity and shared understanding in building upon past engagement processes at UVic and working to bring everyone along in the conversation.
  • Flexibility in student engagement, so students can guide process delivery and lead peer-to-peer engagement activities.
  • Fun in creating processes that people enjoy and find interesting and relevant.

Launch event

Staff and faculty are invited to join the launch of UVic’s new strategic plan, Distinctly UVic. We'll hear from colleagues about how their daily work is influenced by and exemplifies the priorities and we'll learn how Distinctly UVic will guide our decision-making, now, and into the future.

  • Date: September 12, 2023
  • Time: 1:30 - 2:30 pm
  • Location: Hybrid event, Sŋéqə ʔéʔləŋ | Sngequ House OR online.

Territory acknowledgement

We acknowledge and respect the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.


Since the start of the year, we have been talking with the campus community about what is important to us, and about the vision and future of our university. We have heard your hopes, ambitions, concerns, big ideas, and perspectives on areas critical to the success of UVic through the following engagement activities:

  • Town halls, faculty/division council meetings, surveys, pop-up info tents, online idea boards, events and retreats with leaders and government, and many meetings and presentations for both internal and external interest groups.  


over 8 months


2,500+ participants


+ hundreds of sticky notes

Phase 1 of the plan was informed by the President's Listening Tour and began with the pre-engagement planning and preliminary consultations with:

  • local Indigenous communities (including the Indigenous Community Engagement Council)
  • UVic leaders
  • UVic governance bodies

View the Phase 2 Engagement Summary here.

View the President's Town Hall — Strategic Planning Kickoff (February 10, 2022)

What we did

  • 6 town halls for staff and faculty, with 493 participants
  • 4 meetings with Indigenous students, staff and faculty attended by approximately 250 participants
  • 13 Faculty/Division Council meetings, with 664 attendees
  • One online and physical survey, with 820 responses
  • 325 ideas, comments, and votes shared on our online ideas board
  • 2 group discussions (staff and student led), with 14 participants
  • 9 pop-up booths, with over 1,000 visits and 335 written responses
  • 2 Executive Council retreats
  • Multiple meetings with governance bodies including the Board of Governors and Senate

What we asked

Many of the engagement activities asked members of our campus community to reflect on the following:

  • Our future world: Looking ahead 25-30 years, what will be the major contributing factors that characterize our world? 
  • Future success: Given the characteristics shared in that future world you described, what will universities need to do to be successful?  
  • Achieving success: For UVic to be among these successful universities of the future, what would we need to do over the next 5 years? 
  • Guiding Core Values:As we develop and implement different initiatives over the next 5 years as part of our strategic plan, identify core values by which UVic should be guided. 
  • Reputation: Ultimately, what should UVic be known for on a national and global scale? 

What we heard

We have heard the following topics are most important to the UVic campus community:

  • Campus Experience. Cultivating a campus of care that provides needed supports and services and creates a vibrant campus culture. This includes fostering collaboration and connection, housing affordability and financial supports. It also includes access to mental health services and valuing the student voice.
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion. A desire for priority around creating values and actions specifically related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This includes accessibility and values such as transparency, accountability, and integrity.
  • Indigenous Rights. Commit to decolonizing practices and reconciliation, and support Indigenous community members.
  • Research and Educational Excellence. UVic is an institution that continues to focus on educational excellence both in learning opportunities and research.
  • Climate Action. Leading the way in climate action and sustainability, including renewable energy, waste reduction and carbon neutrality.
  • Societal Issues in a Changing World. Adapting to our changing world with regards to global upset, threats to democracy and technological advancement.

In Phase 3, we explored the themes that emerged from feedback we received about areas of focus for the university. We engaged with our campus and local community to further explore these themes and identify strategic initiatives that will drive our activities over the next five years.

Equipped with the details of our themes and feedback, we established Thematic Advisory Groups who incorporated all this great work and were charged with creating draft content for the new plan. These groups were led by our Executive and included experts relating to each theme. They delved into the themes, reviewed the feedback we receive and refined the themes by developing strategic aspirations/goals, key initiatives and success metrics.

Throughout this time the Vision, Pledge, and Guiding Principles of the plan have also be drafted to help keep us focused on what we heard was important to our campus and local communities. 

View the Phase 3 Internal Engagement Report here.

View the President's Town Hall — Strategic Planning — Exploring Themes (May 24, 2022)

Internal Engagement

  • Phase 3 Town Hall
  • Academic & Administrative Leader's Retreat
  • Joint Board & Senate Retreat
  • Research Advisory Committee and Research Chairs Event
  • Email Correspondence
  • Updates to Board of Governors, Senate, President's Leadership Council, Dean's Council, Executive Council
  • Imagine UVic Pop-up Booths
  • Bang the Table online Idea Boards
  • Survey

View the Phase 3 External Engagement Report here.

External Engagement

  • Alumni Association AGM
  • Community Association Liaison Committee
  • Chamber Lunch
  • South Island Prosperity Partnership
  • Regional Mayors Meeting
  • Community Market pop-up info tents
  • Federal Government meetings
  • Survey

Thank you

Thank you for your feedback on the draft plan. It has been a critical step in ensuring that the new strategic plan represents UVic and our community and will inform the final version of the plan.

The plan was officially approved by the Senate in April and at the May 2023 Board of Governors meeting. It will be launch publically in early September 2023.


Send us an email if you have any questions about UVic's strategic planning process.