THE WORLD NEEDS
The first commitment of our plan is Courageous Curiosity. It challenges us to empower a daring culture of innovation with the courage to confront humanity’s greatest challenges and opportunities with four distinct goals:
Inspire students, faculty, and staff with the responsibility and expectation to be boldly curious as learners, researchers, scholars, and artists.
Curiosity is the lifeblood of our university. Our passion for knowledge and understanding is the driving force of our culture of discovery—and the courage that allows us to ask tough questions and push boundaries is a direct reflection of our inherent optimism, our pragmatic skepticism, our scholarly discipline, and our aspiration to make the world a better place. Curiosity impelled University of Saskatchewan Nobel Laureate Gerhard Herzberg’s pioneering work on the structure and geometry of molecules. Curiosity has given voice and vision to the many distinguished writers and artists who have found inspiration on our campus. Curiosity has propelled the growth of our research enterprise by nearly a third in just five years.
Curiosity is both a privilege and a responsibility. The freedom we enjoy to pursue knowledge and understanding is inextricably linked to our humble respect for the world’s natural and cultural gifts; to our willingness to subject our work to the scrutiny of our peers; and to our commitment to sharing our discoveries in the public sphere in ways that are timely, relevant and useful.
Bold curiosity fuels an innovative society—it’s the foundation for creative problem-solving, invention, and social and technological change—and universities play a vital role in nurturing, empowering, and unleashing the curiosity that will allow us to imagine a brighter, more sustainable future. It is for this reason that curiosity will be the central thesis of all colleges, schools, and administrative units at the University of Saskatchewan.
- Growth in scholarly influence, visibility, and impact
- Success in attracting the best students, trainees, faculty, leaders, and staff across the globe
- Improved competitiveness for peer-reviewed funding
- Teaching excellence that inspires curious, courageous learners
Expand the understanding and practice of Indigenous ways of knowing and concepts of innovation.
Together, we are uplifting Indigenization to a place of prominence at the University of Saskatchewan. Words and phrases that capture the importance of Indigenous peoples and their ways of being, knowing, and doing—philosophies, languages, methodologies, pedagogies—are evident throughout the University Plan and are a source of inspiration for our students, faculty, staff, and community partners.
Indigenization challenges us to amplify the forces of decolonization. Decolonization practices contest divisive and demeaning actions, policies, programming, and frameworks. Indigenization is the healing, balancing force; it calls us to action, invites a rebalancing of relationships, inspires opportunities for mutual cultural understanding, and helps us to find comfort in the discomfort decolonization can entail. From an Indigenous perspective, the gesture of uplifting (open hands, palms up, raised arms) conveys value, openness, honour, trust, and relationship. By uplifting Indigenization and Indigenous self-determination, we are welcoming ideas, knowledges, and perspectives that enrich us all.
Indigenization strengthens the fabric of the university. It involves the respectful, meaningful, ethical weaving of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit knowledges, lived experiences, worldviews, and stories into teaching, learning, and research. Indigenization is a gift that benefits every member of our community.
- Growth in the number of Indigenous policies, programmes, curricula, and initiatives across colleges and schools developed with and validated by Indigenous peoples
- Recognized Indigenous leadership at all levels of the academy, administration, and governance
- Amplified Indigenous student, faculty and staff recruitment and retention efforts
- Systems and structures—including tenure, promotion, and merit practices—that support and recognize Indigenization
- A university community—Indigenous and non-Indigenous—increasingly empowered by active and ongoing system-wide learning that supports the growth and sustainability of Indigenization
- Local, provincial, national, and international recognition as leaders of Indigenization and decolonization
Cement and catalyze interdisciplinary endeavour as a core premise of learning, research, scholarship, and creativity.
Interdisciplinarity is the hallmark of the University of Saskatchewan. It is the unifying model of discovery and innovation for a community of learners, researchers, scholars, and artists with the courage to step outside safe disciplinary constructs; with the ambition to tackle questions they can’t tackle alone; and with the humility to share knowledge and experience in an atmosphere of radical openness. It’s why we’re at the forefront of the discoveries, technological changes, and social innovations needed to tackle global water and food security; it’s why we’re advancing an integrated view of health and wellness at the interface of humans, animals, and the environment; it’s why we’re punching above our weight in so many of Canada’s most prestigious funding competitions.
Interdisciplinarity is impelled by and built around complex problems. It requires integrated, big-picture thinking, comfort with ambiguity, and discerning, nurturing leadership. Interdisciplinarity is not simply about probing the same question through different disciplinary lenses or traditions. It’s about the new creative possibilities—the new and unexpected ways of perceiving, confronting, and understanding a problem—that can arise from the productive collision of perspectives among novel configurations of learners, researchers, scholars, artists, and communities.
With 17 colleges and schools—an almost unprecedented degree of diversity—our university enjoys a rich opportunity to harness scholarly and creative diversity to tackle some of the greatest challenges humanity faces. It is our task to unleash the fullness of our interdisciplinary potential.
- Growth in the number, diversity, and strength of interdisciplinary research and training programmes across colleges and schools
- Recognized leadership in interdisciplinary models, and methods
- Systems and structures aligned with interdisciplinary culture
- Growing global recognition and leadership in applying interdisciplinary approaches within our signature areas
Foster a problem-solving, entrepreneurial ethic among students, faculty, and staff, harnessing opportunities to apply our research, scholarly, and artistic efforts to community and global priorities.
While our purpose as an institution of higher learning is to discover, the social license that enables this purpose derives from our commitment to applying knowledge that addresses challenges and creates opportunities for the world. This spirit of problem-solving, invention, entrepreneurship, and community-building has always animated the University of Saskatchewan—from Harold Johns’ development of Cobalt-60 as a revolutionary cancer treatment to our Crop Development Centre’s role in securing Saskatchewan’s leadership in the global pulse market.
Sustaining and amplifying this spirit will require every member of our campus to engage with the communities we serve and support. We will strengthen the connections linking discovery, social innovation, and technology development essential to sustainable change. And we will become increasingly comfortable with informed risk-taking and the possibility of failure. This mindset is integral to the university’s culture, inspiring all members of our campus community—students, staff, faculty, and senior administration.
At the same time, the pursuit of solutions will require institutional focus to reward inventiveness and enable innovation; to facilitate knowledge translation, exchange and commercialization; and to foster the community partnerships essential to co-development and implementation of discoveries and new knowledge.
- Increasingly empowered culture of experimentation and entrepreneurship among students, faculty, and staff
- New and enhanced applied learning experiences for students
- Growing leadership and recognition in scientific, technological, and social innovation
- Growth in commercialization outcomes
- Expanding community engagement in discovery and innovation