THE WORLD NEEDS
The second commitment in our plan is Boundless Collaboration. It ensures that we invigorate the impact of collaboration and partnership in everything we do through four strategic goals:
Build, enhance, and sustain research, scholarly and artistic strength central to vibrant collaboration within and among all disciplines and academic units.
Interdisciplinary possibilities arise from disciplinary strength. The University of Saskatchewan’s leadership in global food security did not begin with the establishment of the Global Institute for Food Security; it was built over decades of excellence in plant genetics, soil science, zoonotic microbiology, hydrology, agriculture policy, community extension, and development, among other fields, and continues to depend on uncompromising disciplinary focus and leadership.
If we are to realize the full potential of an engaged, collaborative, solutions-focused university with the courage to tackle humanity’s greatest challenges, we need to harness scholarly strength, creativity, and inventiveness across our campus—which means that we will need to acknowledge and tackle unevenness in the quality of research, learning, teaching, and citizenship within our disciplines.
Uncompromising cultivation of disciplinary depth is essential to preparing the university for sustainable leadership in interdisciplinary research, scholarship, and creative pursuits in the future. Without exception, we will hold ourselves to the highest disciplinary standards. The measure of our success lies in attracting and retaining top talent, competing successfully for external resources and partnerships, and ensuring readiness and appetite to contribute to the university’s larger collaborative and interdisciplinary efforts.
- Notable improvement in academic rankings within disciplines and across the university as a whole
- Growth in the recruitment of global faculty and students to all disciplines
- Increased recognition of disciplinary strength and impact globally
- Stronger, more diverse community connections within disciplines
Ensure that academic, administrative, and physical infrastructure enable collaborative opportunities for all students, faculty, and staff.
A culture rooted in collaboration must be enabled by an environment purpose-built for collaboration.
Over the past decade, the University of Saskatchewan has invested substantially in creating the conditions for collaboration, and today many institutional supports have been integrated into the fabric of our campus or are continuing to mature: we are home to some of Canada’s most unique and valuable research infrastructure, including the Canadian Light Source, VIDO-InterVac, and the Health Sciences Complex; our campus design and physical connectivity inspire creativity and create dynamic spaces for interdisciplinary interaction; our research and innovation enterprise is increasingly focused on providing services that accelerate internal and external partnerships; leaders across campus have demonstrated creativity and nimbleness in facilitating transformative collaborations.
However, we still have much work to do in modernizing our institutional practices and policies; eliminating gratuitous barriers that reinforce counterproductive silos; empowering leadership to recognize and facilitate opportunities for collaboration; aligning reward and recognition systems with our collaborative aspirations; and ensuring that the built form of our campus creates cohesive environments in which disciplines can flourish and collaborations will multiply.
- Systems and structures increasingly contribute to building the culture of trust essential to collaboration
- Tenure, promotion, and merit systems appropriately recognize and reward collaboration and community-engaged scholarship
- Student experience is increasingly shaped by collaborative learning opportunities
- Physical and virtual environments across our campus enable a connected, collaborative, and welcoming community
Foster, expand, and diversify local, national, and global partnerships—with governments, businesses, and civil society in rural, northern and urban communities—rooted in reciprocal learning and the co-creation of knowledge.
The resilience, reputation, and relevance of the University of Saskatchewan derive in large measure from the strength of community partnerships woven into the tapestry of our institution—with the Indigenous peoples whose philosophies, methodologies, pedagogies, practices, and languages enrich us; with the farming and northern communities that inspire our ecological and socioeconomic mission; with the extractive industries whose competitiveness and sustainability depend on University of Saskatchewan innovations; with local policymakers whose decisions rely on the evidence our scholars generate; with the cultural institutions, such as the Remai Modern, that illuminate our humanity, and stir our creative potential.
This plan calls on us to do even more in deepening, diversifying, and internationalizing our community relationships—governed by unwavering commitment to our values, to the principles of connectivity, sustainability, diversity, and creativity, and to respectful, reciprocal creation, and application of knowledge. To this end, we will embrace the view that a vigorous partnership ethic is not simply a matter of getting better at “reaching outward”: it’s about redefining the scope and reach of what’s integral to our notion of a vitally engaged university community.
As we invigorate our partnership ethos and become even more agile in recognizing and unlocking new alliances, we will exercise the cultural competency needed to develop partnerships across sectors, geographies, languages, belief systems, and traditions— while remaining resolutely grounded in the authenticity of our values.
- Growth in the number, diversity, and scale of local, national, and international partnerships in research, scholarship, and training
- Our university is viewed as an accessible, go-to resource by partners and stakeholders in Saskatchewan and beyond
- International students increasingly view the university as a destination for unique, high-value learning opportunities
- Institutional policies and support systems are designed to enable effective partnerships across sectors, geographies, and cultures
- A spirit of holistic wellness, mutual respect and inclusive diversity imbues all our engagement efforts
Nurture the humility, ethical space, and conviction central to embedding the spirit and practice of reconciliation in all our engagement efforts.
“Reconciliation,” said Senator Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, “is about forging and maintaining respectful relationships. There are no shortcuts.”
As a community, we have a shared responsibility to honour and join in the journey of reconciliation. Relationships have been fractured; they require repair, redress, and healing. The tragedy of residential schooling exploited education as a tool to destroy identity. As a learning institution, the university has an obligation to use its influence to celebrate diversity and bring to the forefront the strength and beauty evident in Indigenous thought: to move forward “in a good way."
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has also taught us that reconciliation is a goal that may take generations to realize. The University of Saskatchewan understands that reconciliation is an enduring journey, and we are steadfastly committed to actions that contribute to respectfully enabling the balance of relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Enabling this balance requires us to nurture an ethical space in which we can explore how we relate to each other through the lenses of history, culture, and lived experience. By providing opportunities to bring people together to share their experiences of truth, we will contribute to individual and collective healing and nourish deeper expressions of reconciliation.
- Growth in the number, diversity, and strength of reconciliation programming across colleges and schools
- Recognized leadership in reconciliation models, initiatives, and methodologies
- Systems and structures that support reconciliation
- Local, provincial, national, and international recognition for the strong stance on reconciliation and for meaningful reconciliation initiatives
- Strong evidence of initiatives that are responsive to the TRC Calls to Action