Nominations for a Provostial Advisory Group on Academic Planning

PDAD&C#36, 2010-11

  Governing Council
  Professional & Managerial Staff
  Confidential Staff
  President of UTFA
 Presidents of Employee Unions
 Presidents of APUS, GSU, SCSU, UTMSU and UTSU
 Cheryl Misak, Vice-President and Provost
 November 26, 2010
 Nominations for a Provostial Advisory Group on Academic Planning

In October 2009, I issued a memo entitled University of Toronto: Academic Planning in the context of Towards 2030 (see  This document sets out in considerable detail the essential processes and content for academic plans across the university.

Since that memo was circulated, the University has been endeavoring to align the academic planning process with the Quality Assurance Framework for Ontario Universities, a provincially mandated framework overseen by the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents. Under the Framework, universities are expected to use their Cyclical Program Review Protocol to monitor the academic standards of their existing undergraduate and graduate programs, and to assure their ongoing improvement. The alignment of this process with the planning process will be such that divisional plans will be informed by preceding reviews and will provide the basis for subsequent reviews. The idea is to form a coherent whole between the reviews process and the planning process.

Last year, a Quality Assurance Working Group was established, which developed the required Institutional Quality Assurance Plan (the UTQAP).  The UTQAP has now proceeded through university governance and has been submitted to the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance (the Quality Council) for approval. It provides a format for reviews of academic programs and units and guidelines for self-studies and for collecting data for benchmarking of performance.

The next stage of this institutional process is to establish a Provostial Advisory Group on Academic Planning to consult broadly, examine models of academic planning, and discuss best practices for planning at the unit and divisional level. The committee will give advice to the Office of the Provost, which will develop guidelines for academic planning and make them part of the Administrative Manual which provides detailed procedures, best practices, and standardized templates for program quality assurance processes.  These guidelines will be consistent with the principles embedded in the University of Toronto: Academic Planning in the context of Towards 2030 and with the Quality Assurance Framework requirements. They will allow for flexibility and variation across and within divisions in order to best develop and reflect local as well as institutional goals and resources.

The Advisory Group on Academic Planning will be co-chaired by Edith Hillan, Vice-Provost, Faculty and Academic Life and Cheryl Regehr, Vice-Provost, Academic Programs. Its membership will consist of 8 faculty members, 2 graduate students, 2 undergraduate students, 2 staff members, and 1 librarian.

Please send nominations to by Friday, December 10, 2010.