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Laurentian under time crunch for new strategic plan

Following CCAA exit, Sudbury university must come up with a strategic plan in six months, an exercise most universities take a year or more to complete
The Parker Building at Laurentian University

Laurentian University’s upcoming strategic planning process is operating under a tight timeline.

The university was legally obligated under its plan of arrangement following its late-2022 exit from insolvency to hire a consultant to assist with its new strategic plan. Canadian company StrategyCorp was hired for that role earlier this month.

Laurentian is also mandated to complete its strategic plan and have the document approved by its board by the end of December of this year.

The university is simultaneously undergoing an operational transformation process, and has hired a separate consultant, Deloitte, for that task.

During the May 16 meeting of Laurentian’s senate, interim LU president Sheila Embleton commented on these tight timelines.

"Both of these exercises are at a very fast pace, mandated to be so, and unfortunately there is nothing we can do about this,” she said in her written report to the university senate.

“As I’ve said before in various venues, universities normally take a full year or even a bit more to do a new strategic plan.

“We have six months. And ours is probably a larger exercise, given all that has happened, than any other university’s plan. The one thing that I do not want to see sacrificed though is the breadth of the consultation, so we will all be working hard to make sure there are many venues and a variety of means for you to have input.”

Embleton told those at the senate meeting that the consultations are “coming at a very fast pace. Much of the time is over the summer, most inopportune, but we still have to find ways to do the consultation as best we can, by all kinds of different modes.”

She said StrategyCorp is in the process of planning its first trip to Laurentian’s campus. Consultations and discussions will begin very shortly, Embleton said.

While overall strategic plan discussions are taking place, an Indigenous programs team is also meeting to create a strategic plan for Indigenous programs.

“But when that plan comes to fruition, it will be rather important, I think, the way it folds into certainly the strategic planning, but possibly also the operational transformation,” Embleton said.