Skip to main navigationSkip to content

Towards 2030 - Synthesis Statement

Dear Members and Friends of the University of Toronto Community...

In 2027 the University of Toronto will celebrate two hundred years of institutional success. Looking to and beyond our second centennial, how can we ensure that our institution reaches new levels of excellence? "Towards 2030" is an initiative launched to respond to that question.

In June 2007, I released a discussion paper entitled "Towards 2030: Planning for a Third Century of Excellence at the University of Toronto". The paper was later posted on this website which has since served to facilitate information-sharing about the University's 2030 planning processes. The website has received nearly 30,000 visitors from over 300 cities around the world, and the "Planning" background paper has been downloaded thousands of times.

In Phase 1 of the process, former Provost Vivek Goel and I conducted more than 40 'T-2030' presentations across our three campuses. We have received a very substantial amount of feedback in various media and forums. Samplings from the commentary and various formal submissions have been posted on this website.

In Phase 2 of the process, five Task Forces were established to consider issues and questions arising out of the University community's responses to the discussion paper. The Task Forces were largely composed of past and present governors with senior administrators in a supporting role. Task Forces included representation from key estates of the University – i.e. governors elected from the alumni, faculty, staff and student constituencies, as well as those appointed by the provincial government. The various Task Forces hosted a series of consultations through the fall and winter and considered dozens of written submissions. We also continued to receive feedback through this website, and forwarded those communications to the Task Forces.

One Task Force, constituted under the authority of the Governing Council, submitted an initial report, tabled and approved at a Council meeting in May. A second round of deliberations of the same Task Force is commencing in the fall of 2008. Four other Task Forces, dealing with, respectively, Resources, Institutional Organization, Enrolment, and University Relations & Context, submitted their advisory reports to me in the spring of 2008.

I have been immensely encouraged and impressed by the quality of those reports, and have expressed privately my thanks to the Task Force members and the staff who worked closely with them. I want to record publicly my gratitude to all these individuals, as well as the members of our community who made submissions and presentations, and leaders in the non-profit sector, in business, and in government who provided input to the Task Force discussions and deliberations.

In Phase 3, I prepared a Synthesis Report that, as of September 12, 2008, has been posted on this website. Also published here are copies of the final reports of the four Task Forces and initial report of the fifth, on governance. A brief framework document has been drafted that sets out broad strategic directions based on these reports. It will be considered by governors this fall.

I must emphasize that the framework document itself is not the final output of the 2030 initiative, nor, a fortiori, was the goal of the initiative the delineation of highly-specific recommendations. Precision was and remains impossible given a time-line of years and decades, and the reality that many of the strategic directions are contingent on resources and externalities.

Instead, the 2030 reports are best seen as helping to shape the University’s planning and decision-making processes at multiple levels in the years ahead. Discussion will shift in part to Departments and Divisions as they forge their own plans in consultation with their internal constituencies, and the Provost's next cycle of academic planning will draw on themes from the various 2030 reports. Some ideas and issues may spark the formation of time-limited university-wide working groups, leading to administrative action, while other matters will require the engagement and approval of divisional or university-wide governing bodies.

For now, however, this website remains a conduit to the written outputs of the 2030 initiative. It contains the Synthesis Report and the original Planning Document as bookends to the process. There are also individual web-pages for each Task Force, along with additional information from various sources. Some updates will continue to be posted here. As always, comments will be received with interest.

Best wishes,

David Naylor