Provost outlines progress of white paper on York’s future

Patrick Monahan, York’s vice-president academic & provost, has issued the following memorandum to members of the York community:

As the fall term gets underway, I wanted to provide an update on the Provostial White Paper process.

Earlier this summer, President Shoukri initiated a long-term strategic planning process that will lead to the development of a Provostial White Paper on the future of the University. In my memo to the community of July 21, I described the goals of the Provostial White Paper and outlined the various stages of consultation that will lead to the development of this new strategic document.

Left: Patrick Monahan

I am pleased to report that the green paper phase of this process is now underway. You will recall that a green paper is intended to consider particular issues, ideas and suggestions, which are put forward for discussion so that they can be modified, added to, replaced or abandoned in response to community consultation. The green papers will thus inform what proposals and directions will be further developed in the Provostial White Paper. 

Based on some initial consultations and common themes in Faculty academic plans, we identified six green paper topics that will be developed over the next two months:

1. Student experience
2. Teaching innovation and student learning
3. Strategic expansion of research activity
4. Strategic enrolment and program planning
5. Internationalization and community engagement
6. York’s overall reputation

The green papers will be informed by the literature, survey data and relevant reports, reviews of current practices, and extensive outreach and consultation. Each green paper will be developed by a working group led by one or two members of the Office of the Vice-President Academic & Provost and include members of the York community who have a special interest in and knowledge about the particular green paper topic. Preliminary advice on matters of process has been received from Senate’s Academic Policy, Planning & Research Committee (APPRC), and I will continue to work closely with APPRC during successive phases. 

The green papers will be posted on the Provostial White Paper Web site and all members of the community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, administrative units and Faculty councils, will be invited to respond to the ideas in the green papers to ensure that we have the widest possible input. I am pleased to report that the APPRC has agreed to co-sponsor a two-part academic planning forum, given the importance of collegial discussions of the green papers. The forum will take place over two days – Nov. 2 & 3. Sessions at the forum will include a brief opening plenary followed by breakout group discussions on the green papers. APPRC has also undertaken to make special efforts to help engage senators and to promote the upcoming forum. Members of APPRC will be in attendance and will actively participate in discussions.

In addition to the aforementioned consultations, over the coming weeks I will be attending Faculty council meetings in each Faculty in order to provide members of the community an opportunity to hear a bit more about the White Paper process and to ask questions. A complete schedule of Faculty council visits can be found on the White Paper Web site and throughout the process, comments may be submitted via e-mail to

Once again, I would like to thank the entire York community for your participation in this very important process.