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Now is the time

Our times are marked by immediate challenges: from health crises and climate change to geopolitical instability and the hard but necessary work of confronting difficult truths about our history. 

How we respond is up to us, but we need to do it now. This is an exhilarating time of innovation, collaboration and possibility. It is time to lead with our values and live up to our commitments to: 

  • redress historical barriers to higher education for Indigenous Peoples 
  • uphold equity and create a culture of belonging 
  • address the climate crisis to ensure a more sustainable and fair future 
  • embrace innovation and community partnerships 

The world and the communities connected to UVic need us to work together to find new ways of learning, thinking and working. The world needs critical thinkers and interdisciplinary solutions; it needs perseverance and openness to the challenges ahead. It doesn’t need us to be a wildly different UVic—it needs us to be bolder, more confident and more curious, but still distinctly who we are. 

We must continue to amplify how our research, creativity and teaching responds to global opportunities. We must drive innovation, create partnerships and nurture the next generation of leaders, thinkers and citizens. We must strive to be relevant to local communities while also making a global impact. We must think critically about who we are and how we move in the world, embracing values of equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging. 

Now is the time to be Distinctly UVic.

Honouring this place

We are grateful for and deeply honour our place on Coast Salish territory along with the responsibilities that come with living and working here. Foundational to this plan is our commitment to the Lək̓ʷəŋən Peoples, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, and the W̱SÁNEĆ Nations, who have continuing relationships with and inherent rights to the land on which the university stands and to its neighbouring territories.

As part of UVic’s commitment to upholding the rights and sovereignties of Indigenous Peoples, we recognize and acknowledge the damaging and colonial history of education in this country. We are committed to living up to and beyond the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the BC Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

A commitment to Indigenous rights and to honouring the First Peoples of this territory is an essential step in creating the conditions in which everyone feels a sense of belonging within a respectful, welcoming community. 

A note about language & teachings

Language is the foundation of Indigenous laws, worldviews and ways of knowing and being. The protection and revitalization of Indigenous languages is a priority for local Indigenous communities and for UVic.

Throughout this plan, names and teachings are provided in Lək̓ʷəŋən | SENĆOŦEN | English. These words and teachings have been shared with the university community by Elders, Language and Knowledge Keepers from the local Nations, and we are charged with upholding them through the Coast Salish teaching of Nəw̓ es šxʷ cən ʔay̓ šqʷeləqʷən | ÁMEḴT TŦEN ÍY, ŚḰÁLEȻEN | Bring in a good heart and a good mind.

Elders Seniemten, Dr. Elmer George (Songhees Nation) and J,SIṈTEN, Dr. John Elliott (Tsartlip First Nation) have provided permission and guidance on the use of Lək̓ʷəŋən and SENĆOŦEN respectively throughout this document. 

Listen to how the plan priorities are pronounced:

ʔetal nəwəl | ÁTOL,NEUEL

Respecting the rights of one another and being in right relation

People, place & the planet

Sʔeəɫenxʷ | S,ÁEȽA’NW̱ | When things are in harmony

Culture of change & transformation

Xəčiŋəɫ nəwəl | XEĆIṈEȽNEUEL | Actively planning and problem solving

Partnering for a shared future

ʔəy̓ nəwəl ʔist | ÍY,NEUELIST | Moving forward together for the good of all

Learn more Indigenous language pronunciations.

A new kind of plan

A distinct approach, building on a strong foundation.

To develop this strategic plan, we stepped back to get a broad view of our journey over the past 60 years. Our new plan is built on a strong foundation of excellence in teaching, research and creative works, and our commitment to an outstanding student experience. 

We also asked tough questions about what is needed from and expected of us. We heard from thousands of people like you: students, staff, faculty, alumni, retirees, donors, community members, Elders, partners and so many more. Through more than 6,000 engagements, we heard what the world needs from UVic, what you need from UVic and the impact we should be striving for in this moment. 

We heard that UVic must tackle the big issues we are all facing as a society and a world, and be transparent about the role that universities have played in upholding the dominant systems of power, including colonization, white supremacy, historical trauma and patriarchal norms. This plan challenges us—leadership, individuals and the entire community—to resist these systems and be accountable to our commitments. 

This strategic plan doesn't capture every detail of what we do at UVic. This plan urges us to be creative, innovative, collaborative, compassionate and brilliant—not on our own, but together. Bringing together different perspectives and lived experiences is what allows us to build better solutions. We are ready to take action and lift up the expectations we have for each other and the role UVic has in the world and the communities we serve.