Progress Update, April 30, 2013

Dear members of our campus community:

In December 2012, I was pleased to share an update with you on UPEI’s Future Directions in which three key messages were highlighted:

  1. The first two phases of the Future Directions initiative were successfully completed by December, thanks to the input and engagement of our students, staff, faculty, and alumni.
  2. Phase 3 of Future Directions—the development of the draft Strategic Action Plan—would take place from December 2012 through March 2013 with the guidance of the Vice-Presidents.
  3. The continued input, engagement, and collaboration of our campus community would be needed to achieve transformation and meet the challenges that lay ahead.

At this time, I am pleased to report on further progress. A preliminary draft of the UPEI Strategic Action Plan has been developed, meeting our March deadline. This early draft remains a work in progress. By the end of this week, the collective feedback of our Vice-Presidents will be received and incorporated.

I am very encouraged by the strategic direction that is taking shape at this early stage of planning. Although still in development, a strong ‘back to basics’ strategy is emerging, focusing on academic excellence, enhancing the student experience UPEI offers, improving core services to students, and embracing a campus wide priority on recruitment and retention as a key to a sustainable future. When complete, the UPEI Strategic Action Plan will build upon the UPEI Vision Document developed in May 2012.

As we build for the future while managing the challenges of the day, the UPEI Strategic Action Plan will provide clarity, focus, and a shared sense of purpose and expectation regarding UPEI’s direction and growth. We are eager to share the draft plan with the campus community in the near future as the next step in achieving our vision to be a leader in delivering outstanding experiential learning opportunities that encourage our students to develop to their full potential in both the classroom and community.

Over the next several weeks, UPEI’s draft Strategic Action Plan will continue to be developed through a series of input meetings with UPEI’s Senior Management Group, the campus community, and the UPEI Board of Governors (as per the Board’s mandate to oversee the strategic direction of the University). It will be presented to Senate in June 2013 and the Board of Governors for adoption in September 2013.

On behalf of our campus community, I thank all those who continue to work together in the best interest of our students, campus, and communities to build a strong future for UPEI and those we serve.

Best wishes,
Alaa Abd-El-Aziz

UPEI Reflections and Future Directions

Future Directions Update from President Abd-El-Aziz

Over the past four months, our campus and community have been engaged in the UPEI Reflections and Future Directions visioning exercise. With the valued input of more than 200 individuals, this initiative has been successful in determining our University’s core strengths and realizing our vision for the future.

We thank the many people and partners who have contributed to the development of UPEI’s Vision Document as well as those who are eager to contribute their energy and talents throughout our next step of strategy development. As we move forward with strategic planning initiatives to support the UPEI Vision Document, we will continue to keep our campus and community informed through progress updates.

We invite you to explore the UPEI Vision Document to learn more about our priorities and vision of fulfilling potential and succeeding through transformation – on a student level, a University level, and a community level.

UPEI Vision Document
Developed based on consultation and input from our community, the UPEI Vision Document is built upon our strengths to provide a foundation for fulfilling potential and succeeding through transformation. Learn more about our shared sense of purpose and foundation for the future by exploring the UPEI Vision Document.

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Download Printable Document (PDF 8.96Mb)


The UPEI Dare to Dream Campaign

In the next phase of UPEI’s Future Directions initiative, we are looking forward to building on the exciting dialogue that has been taking place across our Campus over the past six months. With the UPEI Vision Document to guide us, we are eager to explore ideas that help identify possibilities and turn them into reality.

Visit Dare to Dream to learn how you can help create a truly transformative, vibrant, innovative and sustainable UPEI of the future!

Thank you for your input

Thank you to all students, staff, faculty, alumni, community members, industry partners, and funding partners who offered feedback and input on the draft framework of UPEI’s Future Directions Vision Document.

A revised Vision Document is being worked on for presentation in May 2012 to UPEI’s Senate and Board of Governors. In the coming months, we will continue to work collaboratively to develop and put in place strategic action plans that will shape UPEI’s exciting future.  Together, we are eager to set in motion the best UPEI has to offer in our classrooms and our communities.

Moving forward with UPEI’s Future Direction

UPEI’s Reflections and Future Directions visioning exercise has entered its next stage!
Since November 2011, the Reflections and Future Directions process has benefitted from on-going direction and input of more than 140 of our students, staff, faculty and alumni through its Steering Committee and 11 Sub-Committees. Last week, our campus community joined us for a Campus Conversation that provided our team with further input into UPEI’s core strengths and the pillars on which we want to build our exciting future.

The first draft framework of UPEI’s Future Directions Vision Document is the result of this active dialogue.

This exciting next stage of the Future Directions visioning exercise invites our campus, alumni, and community to provide input into the draft framework. Through a positive, strengths-based approach, we hope to build upon the collective feedback that has been compiled to-date to build a strong vision for UPEI.

When you are reviewing the draft framework, please consider some of the following questions:

  1. What kind of UPEI do you want in 5 years time?
  2. How can we continue to improve the student experience UPEI offers?
  3. How can UPEI best serve Prince Edward Island?

To view the draft framework of UPEI’s Future Direction Vision Document please click here.

To provide input into the draft framework of UPEI’s Future Direction Vision Document please click here. Comments will be gathered until April 5, 2012.

UPEI Alumni – we want to hear from you!

Thank you for your time and input.

Next Steps
Discussion on the first draft framework of the Future Directions Vision Document will continue with a series of Brown Bag Lunches for faculty, staff and students. Grab your lunch and join in the conversation on UPEI’s visioning exercise, Reflections & Future Directions. This is your chance to provide input into the road map that will guide UPEI’s development over the next five years.

Future Directions Brown Bag Lunches will take place on the following dates:


Faculty and Staff Brown Bag Session (Hosted by Dr. Tim Ogilvie)

12 noon to 1 pm, Schurman Market Square, McDougall Hall


Student Brown Bag Session (Co-hosted by Dr. Tim Ogilvie and UPEI Student Union President, Rob Livingstone)

12 noon to 1 pm, W.A. Murphy Student Centre


Faculty and Staff Brown Bag Sessions (Hosted by Dr. Tim Ogilvie)

12 noon to 1 pm, Faculty Lounge, Main Building

All are welcome!

To help with room set ups, please email Lisa MacKinnon-Laybolt at with the session you plan to attend. Thank you!

What is Reflections and Future Directions?

Reflections and Future Directions is a visioning exercise focused on identifying UPEI’s core strengths and the ways we will build upon these strengths to position UPEI, its people and partners for unprecedented success. Reflections and Future Directions is not a strategic planning process. Rather it is visioning exercise that will enable us to determine the strengths, opportunities and ideas that will guide UPEI into a thriving, sustainable future.

At the request of UPEI President Alaa S. Abd-El-Aziz, and on behalf of the University, the Reflections and Future Directions 24-member steering committee and 11 subcommittees have been working collaboratively to engage UPEI colleagues and community in this process. Dr. Abd-El-Aziz will serve as Chair of Reflections and Future Directions and Dr. Tim Ogilvie, former Dean of the Atlantic Veterinary College, will serve as Vice-Chair. Sub-committees will report to the steering committee through the Vice-Chair.

The Sub-Committees have been meeting regularly to discuss their assigned themes using a strengths-based and highly consultative process. The Sub-Committees and Steering Committee are also in the process of further defining UPEI strengths (as determined by our working groups at a retreat in January 2012) in the context of overarching opportunities on which we want to build.

What are the next steps?

Since the Sub-Committees and Steering Committee were formed in November 2011, we have succeeded in generating a great deal of positive, valuable discussion. Currently the Sub-Committees and Steering Committee are working on some ‘homework’ resulting from our January 2012 retreat. A meeting of Sub-Committee Chairs will take place early in February and the Steering Committee will meet the following week. The outcomes of these meetings will be a further developed vision and key priorities on which UPEI will focus to achieve its vision.

The first draft of the vision document will be developed for mid-March.

UPEI is committed to Reflections and Future Directions being a highly consultative process. Approximately 145 UPEI colleagues and community members are currently engaged in active dialogue. With the creation of the preliminary draft document, we will be engaging further community and campus partners in a variety of ways to provide input as the process continues to evolve. Stay tuned for more information on how you can provide input!

The final document will be completed and presented to UPEI’s Senate and Board of Governors in May 2012.

How can I get more information?

If you have questions or would like more information on Reflections and Future Directions, please email

Thank you for your interest in this exciting initiative. We look forward to working together for the successful future of UPEI!